The first major hint of this idea came during Tesla's recent shareholders meeting where Elon Musk said that some customers were "aggressively" taking advantage of Superchargers for short trips. He claimed that the sites were meant for long-distance drivers. "It's cool to do so occasionally," he noted at the time, but intended to send frequent users gentle reminders to knock it off.
According to Green Car Reports, Tesla has now possibly started slightly rewording communications about the Supercharger network to stress the long-distance focus. Local people clogging up the spots have reportedly been an issue in some areas, though. A Tesla concierge even had to visit the site in San Juan Capistrano, CA, to sort the problem out, according to GCR.
"There is no change in the policy on Supercharger use," a Tesla spokesperson said in a portion of a statement Autoblog. "As always, our priority is to offer the best experience for our customers. Superchargers are intended to make long-distance travel easy and convenient for Model S drivers."
Rather than a change, the luxury EV maker might simply be more actively enforcing a previous position. When the charging sites went nationwide in 2013, the first paragraph of Tesla's announcement said, "Supercharging enables Tesla Model S drivers to travel long distances, for free, indefinitely."
The appropriate time to use a Supercharger is muddy, though. The company's FAQ merely states, "Superchargers are used for long distance travel." However, the page later says, "Supercharging is free for the life of Model S, once the Supercharger option is enabled." With no cost to owners, it's easy to see why many people would want to use these sites as often as possible.
There is no change in the policy on Supercharger use. As always, our priority is to offer the best experience for our customers. Superchargers are intended to make long-distance travel easy and convenient for Model S drivers. We continue to build out our Supercharger network to provide the current and future needs of our customers.