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Supercharger Idle Fees too harsh IMO


May 10, 2018
Had my M3 for a couple of weeks now, and ive really been burned by the supercharging idle fee.

My problem is the superchargers I use (Sherway Gardens, Toronto ON) are so far away from the amenities, that I always get dinged with the idle fees. A couple of times the Tesla app notification has not pushed to my phone, so I always have to check the charging time and try to time it right. Also, there is always only 1-2 Teslas, with a bunch vacant, which is a little bit of a diss. It take 10 mins for me to get to the food court, so it doesn't really leave me enough time to do anything useful other then wait in the car.

I understand the need for idle fees, specifically in a busy supercharging station, but I think the 5 min rule is a little too harsh after a 20-30 min charge. It would be nice if it only worked if there was a large demand for the station, and if notifications worked properly.


No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
Tesla said idle fees should only accrue when the location is 50% or more occupied.

I would suggest going to the TESLA ACCOUNT page and submitting a general support request with your concerns.

I've definitely been to a couple of SC locations like that.

When this happens, have you set the battery to charge to 100%? That might buy you some more time as the charge tapers down a lot as the charge nears 100%. Just ALWAYS remember to set it back down to 80% or 90% so you don't accidentally charge to 100% when you don't intend to.


Always roaming
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2014
in the moment
Nothing slows a road trip or a long day on the road to come to a supercharger and having to get a paired stall with someone charging. All because someone else wanted to get their Thai food, or have a sit down dinner. Takes me twice as long to charge. Trust me I would love to walk to whatever food court your talking about, but I would feel like crap making some mom with two screaming kids take an extra 20 min to charge because of it.

Check the app. Watch your taper. I think I check my app almost every 5 to 10 min to check charge rate etc..don't expect the pushes to always make it to phone. About 70% of the time I get mine.

Echo above. If you don't want the fees. Move it too 100%. If you don't want to go to 100% go move your car. A SC does not equal reserved spots for Tesla's.

On many occasions I have commented to my wife. Where are all the Tesla's? Walk into a store and come out and to see the SC at 80-100% occupied. This happens much more in highly populated areas. Wish there was a way on the app to see how full the SC is, but there are much more pressing issues currently at Tesla.

20 Superchargers and 2 occupied? That is strange to get an idle fee. :confused:


What a long strange trip its been.
Feb 1, 2016
Wren, Oregon
1. If the Supercharger is less than 1/2 full you should not be getting idle fees. Document the situation and let Tesla know.

2. I dont care how far away the amenities are or if the app doesn't push a notification, it is your responsibility to monitor your car for charge status. If you are completed charging and the station is half full or more you deserve an idle fee, PERIOD.

BTW, I have gotten up in the middle of dinner, walked across a large mall and a large parking lot to move my car when it was finished

The Duke

Nov 17, 2016
To some extent this is why we need destination chargers.
For a leisurely walk, some wine tasting and a full dinner Supercharging is just too fast. Call ahead to places, ask while you are there. The more we talk about destination charging the more likely they will be put in. We have some at the local movie theater and I consider destination charging strongly at the hotels I stay in.


Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
The Americas
Well, the OP’s going to really hate one of my feature requests, that being to increase idle fees to $60/hr after 60 minutes lifetime per vehicle and to $300/hr after 120 minutes lifetime.

The worst threat to SC demand management is not ICEing by ICEs, livery impact, or the mythical freeloading garaged local. In fact, that worst threat is ICEing by our own.

It’s simply good practice at a busy SC to be back at yer chariot a couple of minutes before yer charge is complete. Not when it completes and not 5 minutes after. Remember, if you’re on time, you’re late.

Unfortunately, Tesla has insisted upon putting SCs at malls. This causes an inherent conflict of interest often painfully witnessed at SC Grand Openings. Without going down that rabbit hole, one might want to consider planning one’s nutritional needs in advance (bring a sandwich and some bottled water). Stop at a Subway - generally cheaper than standard mall fare, and healthier as well, presuming one makes good choices.

Imagine how it would go over at the local Costco (the three locations nearest to me routinely have 20-25 minute lines after work and on weekends) if someone sat in their vehicle for an extra 5 minutes after their pump stopped. Or left their vehicle and didn’t return until 15 minutes after their tabk was full. They’d be skinned alive. With enthusiasm.

Puts those $60/hr idle fees in perspective, doesn’t it.

And yes, more information about both site load and individual pedestal health in advance would be very helpful - and also the subject of yet another feature request.

The Duke

Nov 17, 2016
How would you feel about disabling Supercharging for your vehicle as a fine?
No charging for a day per 10 minutes blocking the Supercharger. Stay 60 minutes too long and get a 6 day suspension.

I am not supporting this suggestion, just pointing out how serious some people are about blocking chargers.


Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
Echo above. If you don't want the fees. Move it too 100%.

The 100% charge recommendation, just like the intricate single-hand driving position recommendation to counter Autopilot nags (instead of safely driving with two hands), are clear symptoms of a policy/technology gone wrong IMO.

The 5 minute limit on a variable-speed event (Supercharging with taper, pairing events, various conditions of chargers) without fully reliable notifications (they are not), is obviously a very harsh one.

Someone charging to 100% and thus slowing things down even more (and possibly forgetting their setting at 100% which is not good long-term) is not a good solution. That final 10% can keep the charger occupied far longer for far less benefit than a slighly more lenient return time would.

The debate on what is a reasonable policy for this rages on, I'm sure, because there certainly are many legitimate views to what is reasonable. But charging to 100% unnecessarily should never be the solution - that just goes to show there is a problem with the policy, if that is what happens.

The problem isn't people overstaying for 6 minutes, not even 15 minutes. Someone charging to 100% unnecessarily will cause a much longer delay. IMO a good start would be moving the 5 minute grace to 15 minutes. That would be more reasonable, for a variable-speed event one can't fully plan for.

I know people have many opinions on this, but simply because Tesla chose certain grace levels, doesn't mean those are exactly the optimal ones or fairest ones.


Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
Glad the OP figured it out, but another thought....the app should notify you when you're about to get charged an idle fee. This way, you don't have to monitor the situation so vigilantly and if your charging is complete but the rest of the stalls are empty, you don't have to worry about rushing to move your car. The idle fee notification is a red flag that you had better get out to your car and move it.


Apr 20, 2015
Ok I feel like an idiot - it wasnt an idle fee, it was just a different "tier" of charging. I was more upset of what I thought was an expensive idle fee when I was one of the only ones at the super charger.....
what do you mean by a different tier of charging?


S 100D 2021.32.20
Mar 8, 2015
what do you mean by a different tier of charging?
In states where Tesla is not allowed to charge by the kWh delivered, they charge by the minute.

For example, in Colorado, Tesla can charge by the kWh and the rate is $0.22/kWh. In Nebraska, they are not allowed to charge by the kWh so they charge by the minute instead. It's $0.20 per minute above 60 kW and $0.10 per minute at or below 60 kW.

See https://www.tesla.com/support/supercharging for costs by state or country.


Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
United States
Ok I feel like an idiot - it wasnt an idle fee, it was just a different "tier" of charging. I was more upset of what I thought was an expensive idle fee when I was one of the only ones at the super charger.....

Do some legwork to get charging where you work or live. I understand the need for local L3 charging but it cannot be a longterm solution.

Check out plugshare; There's also a lot of free L2 charging at other shopping areas in Toronto...
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Sep 28, 2016
does it really say " you will incur an idle fee" thats not the same as your charging is almost complete...

I've seen the wording of the notification include both the usual text that supercharging is complete and additionally a statement that idle fees may occur. I don’t recall the exact wording, and I already cleared the notification I saw Sunday that included the idle fee warning, or I'd post a screen shot.

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