Easy, peasy, right? Well, not any more. You'll soon have to add a bit of clock watching to your potty break. Yesterday, Tesla announced a new, per-minute "Supercharger Idle Fee" that kicks in once your electric car is filled up. Technically, this fee is only temporary, since, "We envision a future where cars move themselves once fully charged, enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further. Until then, we ask that vehicles be moved from the Supercharger once fully charged. A customer would never leave a car parked by the pump at a gas and the same thinking applies with Superchargers." Easy, peasy.
Superchargers are designed for city to city travel, enabling Model S electric vehicle drivers to travel for about three hours, take a 20 to 30 minute break to grab lunch or a soda or coffee, and get back on the road charged up. For free.
Musk said last week that he would "take action" against people who abuse the Supercharger program and now we know the details. Once a Model S or X is charged up, the clock starts running at 40 cents a minute (50 cents in Canada. For a complete list of costs in other countries, click here). If you move your car within five minutes of when the app tells you the car is done charging, the fees for those minutes are waived. You don't have to pay when you violate Tesla's new policy, but the next time you go in for service, you'll find the fees tacked on to the bill. This fee applies to any and every Tesla, no matter when the car was purchased, and even if there are open Superchargers nearby.
UPDATE: Musk has Tweeted that this part of the new rules will be changed:
@TeslaMotors We are going to modify this so that people only pay a fee if most bays are occupied. If the site is basically deserted, no problem to park.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
Somewhat ironically, Tesla still lists movie theater as "amenities" at some Supercharger stations. Unless the company expects its drivers to just go in to watch some previews, we suspect these will be removed soon.