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Tesla to charge “congestion fee” at some Supercharger locations

Tesla is implementing a "congestion fee" at select Supercharger locations in an effort to combat long wait times amidst rising demand

Tesla will charge certain drivers a “Supercharger Congestion Fee” at a limited number of charging sites across the U.S. in an effort to reduce wait times and improve the customer experience.

Only some customers will be penalized under the company’s current plan. Drivers who attempt to charge their electric vehicle over 90%, or in some cases 80%, according to Electrek, will receive an alert in the Tesla app. Choosing to ignore the notification and complete charging will result in a one-dollar-per-minute fee until the vehicle is disconnected or the battery is full, although owners will receive a five-minute grace period to unplug the charging cable and leave the station. Furthermore, Tesla noted in an article on its website that it will only apply the fee if the Supercharger location is “busy.”

The electric vehicle maker’s charging network is one of the largest and most accessible in the nation. With the company now sharing its platform with other brands, demand for Tesla chargers will only rise. The congestion fee is thus both an attempt to curb unnecessarily long wait times at Supercharger locations and prepare for the coming wave of third-party EV owners. The move also comes just before holiday travel, which is expected to be especially high this year.

One of the key obstacles to wider EV adoption is the nation’s inadequate charging infrastructure. While many green-energy advocates have urged OEMs to invest in more chargers, especially in more rural regions where consumers must often drive long distances, most automakers have taken a relatively slow approach. Certainly, thousands more charging stations exist now than in 2022 or even earlier this year, but availability is far behind where it needs to be in order to spur electric vehicle demand. Tesla’s increasingly accessible charging network could prove to be a vital, cost-effective method to attract more buyers to the segment; combatting congestion at Supercharger locations is an important step toward this goal.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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