Tesla has launched its new Supercharger congestion fee at select stations in an attempt to shorten charging session times.
Back in 2019, Tesla introduced a new feature at Supercharger stations to help shorten charging sessions during busy times. The automaker started to limit owners’ state of charge (SOC) to 80% at select high-traffic sites.
Most people don’t charge at 100% anyway, and the last 20% is much slower to get to, so this would have the opportunity to greatly reduce the average charging session time.
However, it was worrying to many owners as you sometimes do need to charge more than 80%. What can you do in those cases?
Tesla quickly modified the feature to automatically set the state of charge of vehicles at those stations at 80%, but owners could manually increase it back to 100% if they wanted to. This has been the solution for years and quelled most owners’ concerns. But now, Tesla is seeing the need for a more drastic approach.
We knew it was coming last month thanks to Tesla hacker Green, but now it is official.
The automaker officially announced the new congestion fees, which it says replaces idle fees when in effect:
At certain Supercharging locations, congestion fees will replace idle fees. A congestion fee is a fee you pay when a Supercharger is busy, and your vehicle’s battery is above a certain level. You can see the battery charge level where congestion fees apply on your vehicle’s touchscreen.
Tesla lists the conditions for congestion fees to apply at a Supercharger station:
- The Supercharger has congestion fees
- The Supercharger is busy
- Your vehicle’s battery is already at or above the congestion fee level
Tesla says that you will get a message when you charge at a station that has congestion fees, and there’s a 5-minute grace period.
So far, Tesla only announced rates in the US:
|Country/Region||Currency||Congestion fee (per minute)||Congestion fee level (% battery charge)|
That’s basically an extra $1 per minute you stay at the Supercharger station after reaching 90% state of charge.
The goal is to reduce the average charging session time when a station is busy. The last 10% of a fast-charge session takes a lot of time and people are often better off to keep driving and if they need to, stop somewhere else at a lower state-of-charge.