The Supercharger Congestion Fee will charge US drivers $1 per minute for charging their car beyond 90% at “specific Supercharger locations.” That’s how the Magic Dock operates.
Tesla has introduced a new fee to encourage people not to charge their cars up to 100% at the busiest Supercharger stations. In the US, the Supercharger congestion fee kicks in when a car reaches 90% charge, at which point drivers will have to pay one dollar per minute for every additional minute they continue charging their vehicles.
The company’s support page indicates that the fee will be applied at “specific charging points” when they are busy.
A dollar per minute, the Tesla rate
The launch of the fee comes ahead of Thanksgiving Day in the US, traditionally a time when many people travel to see family.
However, it also arrives at a time when Tesla is opening its Supercharger stations to non-Tesla electric vehicles, which could increase demand on its charging network.
This is Tesla’s latest measure to manage the capacity of its Superchargers. They already charge idle fees when owners leave their cars plugged in after completing charging, and this new congestion fee will replace the idle fee at locations where it’s applied.
At some stations, Electrek notes that the car’s maximum charge will default to 80% to reduce waiting times (although owners needing a full 100% charge can override this default setting).
Batteries tend to charge slower in the last 10 to 20%, and Tesla’s app itself sometimes recommends limiting charge levels to around 80% for daily driving. These limits are often advised to maximize battery health and longevity.
You’ll know when a congestion fee is about to apply thanks to a notification in the Tesla app, giving you five minutes to unplug the car and avoid getting charged.
There’s no maximum limit for these fees, and they will also apply to owners with free Supercharging. It’s unclear if congestion fees will be applied internationally or when, as Tesla’s support page only includes details for US customers.