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Tesla Introduces Fee For Owners Who Leave Their Cars At Supercharger Stations (techcrunch.com) 304

Tesla announced today that it will start charging owners a fee of $0.40 per minute if they fail to move their vehicles at a Supercharger station. If drivers don't move their cars within 5 minutes of the car hitting 100 percent, the fee will begin to assess. TechCrunch reports: "One would never leave a car parked at a gas station right at the pump and the same rule applies with Superchargers," read Tesla's announcement. How will one know that it's done and you need to scoot? Why, one will get an alert on one's phone, of course, via the Tesla app. One already does, in fact. So one never had any excuse. "To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it," the announcement also reads.
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Tesla Introduces Fee For Owners Who Leave Their Cars At Supercharger Stations

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's a Starbucks within walking distance of a Tesla station in Tifton, GA -it's actually right behind the Starbucks. Folks plug their cars in and go for coffee or something. I mean, those cars take a while to charge - it's not like gas where it takes just a minute or two to fill up. And people do leave their cars at the pump and go in to buy other shit.

    And unlike gas stations, the Tesla station is pretty empty. Maybe in the future when there are more Tesla's on the road it could be an issue.

    • by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @08:18AM (#53502463)
      They take a while to charge? Do you even own a TESLA? It takes ~15m if you're higher than 25% battery. It's 20m if it's dead flat. Incidentally, if you time it you'll probably find the whole process of filling your car with gas takes ~10-15m. Their change is completely reasonable -- it says "don't be a fuckhead, get your charge, move, and let other people charge their cars." And if you're in SC, there are definitely queues to use the chargers. Nothing worse than going from a 20m wait to 60m wait for no reason other than someone else wanted to get their fucking latte or whatever and didn't give a shit about anyone else. +1 for TELSA.
      • But wouldn't it be better if you could actually do something during that 15 min? one can't even have that luxury after paying $90K for a car? Seems like more chargers is the better solution, let users pay for them too. If it takes 15 min to charge and I'you have to wait 10 or more for the guy in front of me anyhow, you are burning up a big chunk of time.
        • ^my editing skills are deteriorating. I'm only drinking coffee...I promise.
        • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

          But wouldn't it be better if you could actually do something during that 15 min? one can't even have that luxury after paying $90K for a car?

          You still have that luxury, but now you have to pay for it if you take longer than 20 minutes. 40 cents per minute won't make a Tesla owner bankrupt, probably.

          • You still have that luxury, but now you have to pay for it if you take longer than 20 minutes. 40 cents per minute won't make a Tesla owner bankrupt, probably.

            Somehow I don't think that solves the problem of Tesla owners waiting on the charger to become free.

        • They used to encourage exactly that. In fact, if you pop over to tesla.com and pull up the superchargers map, the listings do still include the businesses that you are encouraged to patronize while supercharging. And that includes everything from the Starbucks for the free wifi, to the Harris Ranch Steakhouse, if a 24 ounce RibEye is more your thing.

          So, this move is more interesting because it marks a reversal from Tesla's original messaging. And one has to wonder why the change and what elst is in the p

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        LOL, you think it takes 10-15 minutes to fill your car with gas. How strong is the tesla reality distortion field.

        EPA limits gas pumps to 10 Gal/min for cars and 40 Gal/min for trucks. I have an 18 gal tank so even if it were set to 5 gal/min that would be 4 minutes + lets say 1 minute to swipe you card.

        10-15 minutes no way.

        All electric cars + high energy density charges might be great, but let's not pretend that it's comparable. Also tesla is doing this to themselves, placing charges next to starbucks

        • LOL, you think it takes 10-15 minutes to fill your car with gas. How strong is the tesla reality distortion field.

          Due to the existing infrastructure, most never have to wait on a pump to be available either. I think 4 minutes is about normal for my fill ups. I can't recall the last time it took 10, but it would have been after waiting on a pump and including that wait time.

      • if you time it you'll probably find the whole process of filling your car with gas takes ~10-15m.

        I cannot see how you get 10-15 minutes to fill your car with petrol - assuming that you don't have to queue. It is easily done in 5 max: 4 to self service fill up, 1 to pay at the pump with your credit card.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It doesn't take 15 minutes. For a start, it depends on the size of your battery, which ranges from 60 to 100kW. Then it depends on the charge rate, which depends on battery temperature and if anyone else is using the charger that shares the total 150kW available per two cars. Charging shows as the car nears 100% too.

        You could easily wait an hour to go from 25% to 100%. While charging people who linger is a good idea, 5 minutes grace is a bit harsh. 20 minutes would allow you to get the notification (bad sig

        • by naughtynaughty ( 1154069 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @09:13AM (#53502631)

          Your Tesla tells you when you car will finish charging, if you think you need 20 minutes grace period I'd suggest you are a perfect candidate for Tesla's fee so you can have the pain modify your insensitivity towards your fellow Tesla owners.

          • $90K for the car, $0.40 per minute "asshat fee." A 10% asshat tax on the car would purchase 375 hours of asshat time at the free charging station. As a flat per-minute fee, I don't think it will modify behavior where it really needs to.

            If I were setting the rules of the game, it would charge $0.01 for the first minute late, $0.02 for the second (total of $0.03), $0.04 for the third, $0.08 for the fourth, etc. with a "grace" of up to $1 per day free overage charges forgiven. If you haven't paid your overa

        • 5 minutes grace is a bit harsh. 20 minutes would allow you to get the notification (bad signal), return to the car from the nearby shops and move.

          Five minutes is fine. You already have a pretty good estimate of what time your car will finish charging, so you should plan to be back near the car around that time anyway.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            You already have a pretty good estimate of what time your car will finish charging

            Not really. If you arrive and another car is already pulling 100kW from the shared charger, your car will pull about 15kW. When the other one starts to slow down as it nears 100%, yours will speed up. It's hard to predict because you can only get a very vague estimate of the other car's state-of-charge from the speed at which the charge port is blinking.

        • You are getting "free" fuel (o.k. - pre-paid in the purchase price, but, still, the incentive scheme works like free.)

          Have some courtesy to your fellow electromotorists, move your junk out of their way ASAP so they can get their "free" fuel.

          Don't these things "drive themselves" anyway? Couldn't it auto-repark after filling up?

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I should say that I drive a Leaf, so I'm well aware of the etiquette and do always move after I've finished charging. That's also why I know it takes more than 15 minutes.

            A 65kWh Tesla takes about 50 minutes to go from zero to 100%. Of course no-one actually rolls up with zero. The charge rare also slows down after about 80%.

            It would help if they charged for the electricity because then people wouldn't charge to 100% all the time, they would move on as soon as they have enough energy to get to a cheaper sou

      • I live in a place that is cold. I sure hope a Tesla stays heated while having to sit in it for 15 mins.
      • Idea: Self driving queues. Why do we have to wait in line when our cars can do it for us? As a bonus they immediately leave once filled and can move to a regular parking space or meet you at your current location.
      • If you have money to buy a testa I would think your time would be a bit more valuable then that. It takes me 3 minutes to fill my tank. So the time to charge up from your specs are 5x as long as a gasoline car.

      • Do you even own a TESLA?

        I'm guessing the OP doesn't. I don't. 99% of Slashdotters don't. They're extremely expensive luxury items, and most IT people I know either own something fuel efficient and cheap to get to work that's probably 5-10 years old, or a pick-up or a minivan because of the those vehicle's utility (again, both 5-10 years old.) I've seen a Model X on the road (I commute from Martin to Palm Beach County going through the richest parts of both) and it didn't strike me as having the capability

        • You're simply not an early adopter. But you'll be getting an electric vehicle at some point or other.

        • Then read a book, or get Kindle Unlimited. Or buy your coffee and hustle your ass back to your car instead of making a pathetic pass at the cute barista.

      • Incidentally, if you time it you'll probably find the whole process of filling your car with gas takes ~10-15m.

        No. It takes about five minutes.

        Their change is completely reasonable -- it says "don't be a fuckhead, get your charge, move, and let other people charge their cars."

        Sure, there's nothing wrong with that. Have the car alert you at 90% to give you some additional wiggle room if it takes you more than five minutes to get back to your car.

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        15-20 minutes falls well within the ISO standard definition of "a while".

      • Ummmm.... including payment (CC at the pump), the "whole process" from parked to driving away from a petrol pump is typically less than 5 minutes for 250 miles (400km) worth of fuel.

        The problem with a 15-20 minute charge time is that the kind of fuck-tard who buys a Tesla in the first place can't be tied down to one spot for 20 minutes waiting for something mundane like charging their car, their time is too important for that, gotta go get a latte or something. Is it their fault that the line was so long,

      • Incidentally, if you time it you'll probably find the whole process of filling your car with gas takes ~10-15m. Their change is completely reasonable

        Whether the electric car charge time is reasonable or not is 100% subjective, but your estimate of gas filling times is a ridiculous, "+1 for TESLA" exaggeration. From turning off the car to tearing off a receipt and driving away (paying by credit card at the pump), a complete 16-20 gallon tank fill-up is 3 minutes tops anywhere I buy gas. Maybe tack on an ex

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Yes, they take a while.... at least compared to gassing up. In my experience, even filling up from below "E" on the fuel gauge with an 85 litre tank (22 gallons) can be done and over with in about 6 or 7 minutes, including paying for it.
    • There's a Starbucks within walking distance of a Tesla station in Tifton, GA -it's actually right behind the Starbucks. Folks plug their cars in and go for coffee or something.

      Yep and when their cars are full they should go move them or pay a fee for preventing the charging point being available to others. Just like when you go to a highway service centre you fill up, you go in and pay, then you move the car, and go to sit down and eat.

      • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        Now there's a common courtesy mentality that could have done with catching on more quickly in the UK. The major supermarket chains finally caught on to the possiblity of co-locating a small store with a forecourt a few years ago, so instead of the typical "motoring essentials" you used to be able to pickup in the garage you can now plausibly do a full grocery shop... and people do. Often without moving their car from the damn pump first. The "solution" to this seems to be a lot of CCTV with ANPR and pump
        • How odd, we've had these in the states for years and we don't have a problem, even in the most sleazy and methed-out of towns. For example, I have never had this problem at the Tower Mart in Clear Lake, CA which is surprising because it is fucking meth central. Or, perhaps that's why we don't see this problem. If you try to pull that shit here in the states, someone may shoot you. I guess an armed society really is a polite society ;)

          Seriously though, I recall hearing the boys rant about this on Top Gear, a

    • they are reacting to customer complaints so its an issue in other locations.
  • AKA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @08:13AM (#53502453) Journal
    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      Pretty much. This seems like a very reasonable move from Tesla given the fuel pump analogy and it applies to everyone; today you might be the jerk hogging the pump, but tomorrow it might be you doing the waiting. I'm not familiar with the App, but presumably Tesla owners also get some kind of indication through the App of when charging is expected to reach 100%, and should have some kind of idea of charging times after a few cycles anyway, so it's not really a case of "You've got five minutes to move your
      • I'm not familiar with the App, but presumably Tesla owners also get some kind of indication through the App of when charging is expected to reach 100%...

        If there's not an App like this, someone should get to work monetizing it.

        Better yet, many fueling stations of a more traditional type already sell fuel as a loss leader to entice customers into a small store with large markups. Perhaps the charging stations could monetize these 15-20 minute waits?

    • The move is NOT different from the so-called zipper method, where cars merge at the point of merging. If San Francisco doesn't want people merging all over the place, they shouldn't create all these artificial merge points in the form of bus stops. The buses don't go where you need them to go anyway. San Francisco is the poster child for needing PRT because their bus drivers are the poster children for being fuckheads, and because the city is not laid out such that buses can get you around usefully.

    • Do they really think someone who owns a Tesla will care about that fee? Especially if that person has walked to the local Starbucks to buy a $4 cup of bitter coffee while they wait.
  • Damnit One! Ruining it for everyone.

    • Damnit One! Ruining it for everyone.

      That doesn't make any sense. One person leaving his car at a supercharger too long is ruining it for who? The others who leave their car at the supercharger too long?

      • Damnit One! Ruining it for everyone.

        That doesn't make any sense. One person leaving his car at a supercharger too long is ruining it for who? The others who leave their car at the supercharger too long?

        Everybody else who needs to charge their car, maybe while on the way to stop a new fracking bore hole near the San Andreas rift, or to stop Dr. Evil from testing his new device under Yellowstone, or maybe just of a way to perform brain surgery on the child that will in 20 years defend the planet against the Bugs from Outer Space.

  • You should be able to launch an app that says 'plugging in to charge now' and having it bing you at Starbucks when the charge reaches, say, 95%. It would not be difficult to stipulate that all charging stations be WiFi equipped to support this.

    • Or maybe every Tesla car can already communicate with your smart phone using a cellular network and maybe there is already an app from Tesla that does exactly that:

      https://itunes.apple.com/us/ap... [apple.com]

      • Kudos to Tesla for doing this, but this is not a brand-specific problem. What about all those electric econoboxes out there?

        • Kudos to Tesla for doing this, but this is not a brand-specific problem. What about all those electric econoboxes out there?

          As far as I can tell, every EV coming out now has connectivity features like this. The Leaf has always had this functionality, and it's not exactly a luxury car. It would be trivial to add to any EV. For old ones, you'd need some kind of voltage monitor module. For new ones, you can presumably query the computer to find out charge status.

        • I have a Chevrolet Volt, and it can e-mail or text me when charging is complete. It also provides an estimated charge time which is pretty accurate. While it doesn't Supercharge, I suspect that notification is a pretty common feature for EVs.
        • My Ford messages me when it's charged too.

  • by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgw.gmail@com> on Saturday December 17, 2016 @08:44AM (#53502545) Journal

    First, if you're really interested in this issue, read the FB Tesla Owner's page for a while. The non-flame comments from actual Tesla owners are worth reading thru.

    Second, my humble contribution: the fine should only apply if all the slots at a given charging station are full. If there's open slots, leave things as-is.

    • Complications confuse people. Tesla simply, reasonably, wants people to train themselves to not use Supercharger spots as parking spots.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @09:07AM (#53502609)

    There is an easier and better solution to this. The chargers talk to each other. There should be no need to move your car if there are still several available chargers. If they are down to just one (or two) free charger left, THEN notify the others they have to move in 5 min and assess the fees.

    Charging can take a long time, and if you are dining or shopping, stopping to run and move your car will be a pain. What if you are in a checkout line? What if you haven't paid for lunch? The method I describes can make more people happy, no?

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @09:48AM (#53502759) Homepage

    One has an obsessive compulsive disorder, one thinks.

  • I don't know if this is possible yet, but how about when your car is charged your given a leeway time and then if you don't remove your car it starts DISCHARGING the BATTERY. An app could let you know when it's almost fully charged (the time preference would be yours) and then you would be ready to be there when your car is fully charged.

    • The only way that would really be useful is if you plugged the nose of your car in to charge, and someone else could plug into its arse and steal your charge if you were plugged in too long. But THAT could only be useful if the cars could transfer charge between themselves at very rapid rates...

  • by John_Sauter ( 595980 ) <John_Sauter@systemeyescomputerstore.com> on Saturday December 17, 2016 @10:16AM (#53502883) Homepage

    If these cars are smart enough to drive themselves on the highway, why can't they drive themselves away from the charger when they are full, and park themselves? Even better, drop you at the shopping center, go get charged up, then park until you are done shopping and summon them.

    • by crow ( 16139 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @10:22AM (#53502919) Homepage Journal

      Yes, they've already said that's the long-term plan. The problem is that older cars won't ever be able to drive away, and the Superchargers can't unplug themselves yet.

    • If these cars are smart enough to drive themselves on the highway, why can't they drive themselves away from the charger when they are full, and park themselves?

      They're not clever enough to do that safely yet. That's why Tesla tells you to use autopilot only on the highway, where the environment is generally less complicated. Eventually they will likely have a fully automated driving solution, but they don't now.

  • Hah, bullshit. I see people pump gas, leave their car at the pump, and go inside and do 30 minutes of shopping for beer, ho-hos, beef jerky, and lottery tickets (which they insist on scratching off right there at the counter before they walk away).

  • Hope (Score:3, Funny)

    by jgullstr ( 2864603 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @10:55AM (#53503069)

    we hope to never make any money from it

    Imagine their disappointment should their hopes shatter.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      He should have said the fees would be donated to a charity as part of the announcement.

  • Why yes they do! The gas stations here pretty much force you to by making the pumps take 10+ minutes to fill your 15 gallon gas tank.

    They do this to force people to go inside out of the heat or cold so they might buy something other than gas since it's not legal to leave your car running while filling (the backpressure on most newer vehicles will cause problems if you try anyway)

  • I thought English had a word for that ..it's called fine. Tesla fines users for...
  • "One would never leave a car parked at a gas station right at the pump"

    Guess they've never been so middle-class as to have to use a combo gas station/chain restaurant before. 76+Subway, anyone?

    Just goes even further to show that Tesla is sorely out of touch with societal reality.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @01:54PM (#53504065)

    Tesla Introduces Fee For Owners...

    Oh this sounds so friendly....

    Tesla: "Hi, we're Tesla, and we'd like to introduce you to our new fee. Well, it's not really a "fee", that's such a harsh word, ha ha. We're just going to charge you by the minute for not immediately moving your car. We like to think of it as a 'getting to know you and your wallet' kinda thing. And of course if you don't pay us, we'll turn off your car. Gosh, we hope that doesn't happen while you're zooming down the highway!"

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