In recent weeks, Tesla’s rumored electric vehicle (EV) congestion fee has been a topic of conversation within the EV community. The company has now made an official announcement stating that this fee will soon be implemented at select Superchargers in the US.
Tesla has notified owners through its mobile app that idle fees will be replaced by congestion fees at specific Supercharger stations in the upcoming weeks. According to Tesla, the congestion fee will come into effect only when the Supercharger station is deemed “busy,” although an exact definition of what constitutes “busy” has not been provided.
Software experts found mentions of congestion fees in the source code of a software update in October. It was suggested that this fee would apply when a vehicle is more than 80% charged. This is the same threshold at which Tesla currently applies idle fees.
However, Tesla ultimately decided to give drivers more of a break with regard to congestion fees. An update on Tesla’s website states that these fees will only be applicable when charging reaches 90% state of charge (SOC) or above.
The website also indicates that the congestion fee will be US $1.00 per minute. This is equivalent to the idle fee when a station is 100% full.
Just like with idle fees, Tesla will provide a grace period before starting to charge congestion fees. Drive Tesla Canada reports that drivers have five minutes to leave the charging station after their EVs reach 90% SOC.
According to Tesla’s website, the congestion fees encourage drivers to charge their vehicles only as needed for their journeys, rather than fully charging to 100%. By charging only as much as needed, drivers would boost Supercharger accessibility.
Tesla likely introduced congestion fees due to its deals earlier this year giving other EV makers access to the Supercharger network. By 2025, over a dozen automakers will gain access to Tesla Superchargers. This will increase wait times at Tesla’s EV charging stations.
In addition, some industry watchers believe that overcrowding could reduce charging speeds. Reduced charging speeds would then increase congestion further, creating a vicious cycle.
Image Source: Tesla Charging