Tesla Sends Out Supercharger Abuse Emails – Many Model S Owners Not Impressed

AUG 13 2015 BY JAY COLE 167

Tesla Asks Some Model S Owners To Ease Up On Supercharger Use

Tesla Asks Some Model S Owners To Ease Up On Supercharger Use

As foreshadowed by Tesla, the company has now sent out Supercharger abuse notes (full copy of email below) to many Model S owners who frequent Supercharging stations a little too much for the company, with the hopes that the notes will ease congestion around popular stations.

Some Owners Not Pleased With Tesla Supercharger Usage Email

Some Owners Not Pleased With Tesla Supercharger Usage Email

The reaction from owners receiving the notes, as expected, has not been overly positive.

With many saying Tesla doesn’t understand who they are sending it out to, the circumstances around their usage, and that the tone of the letter itself is unjust.

“The Supercharger Network’s intent remains to expand and enhance your long distance travel while providing the flexibility for occasional needed use during local trips. Our goal is to provide the best charging experience, keeping charge times low to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. As a frequent user of local Superchargers, we ask that you decrease your local Supercharging and promptly move your Model S once charging is complete….”

It appears that instead of slowly delivering out these notes, Tesla has initiated a mass emailing to owners the company has deemed excessive users, which maybe have made the uproar far more greater than it should have been.

Some owners suggest a more gentle (and generic) first wave of emails would have been a better way to broach the subject, especially considering that all Supercharger users have paid a $2,000 fee to use the service (inside the price of the car, or as an after-the-fact purchase with some 60 kWh cars) – without any notice of specific limitations at point of sale.

Tesla Asks Model S Owners To Charge At Home As Often As Possible Over Using Superchargers - Highlights Inexpensive Charging Costs

Tesla Asks Model S Owners To “Maximize The Convenience Of Home Charging” – Highlights Inexpensive Charging Costs “Topping Up At Home Is Under $2” For A 40 Mile Commute

Since the mailings started yesterday, a current thread on the TeslaMotorsClub forum has been very active on the topic, with several owners who have received notices claiming to have used Supercharging stations very sparingly; in some cases less than 10 times over the past year – while others receiving the email state that they have no local Supercharging stations near them at all.

Tesla in the past has highlighted that Supercharger use is free to use for the life of the car and that customers are able to use the network as much as they like, so owners may be inclined to feel the note (regardless of frequency of use) is still unwarranted.

While some owners will heed Tesla’s plea to ease up on public charging for the good of the whole, some likely will be vocally against it – even increasing charging stops.

Overall however, our sense is that most Model S owners will discard the email and continue to use Tesla’s Supercharging Network the way they intended since they first bought their cars.

The bigger question is, “how does this stance to Model S owners on Supercharging affect the benefits of the network surrounding the upcoming Model X, Model 3 and future Model S owners?  Will the Supercharging usage terminology on the bill of sale remain the same?” 

Will future consumers now see the Supercharging network as a benefit (especially for $2,000) if Tesla is watching over your shoulder and sending you emails ala Big Brother?  And if the root cause of the email is that the network is feeling the strain now, what about in 4 years time when the company says it hopes to sell 500,000 cars a year worldwide?

Tesla Supercharging Email

Tesla Supercharging Email

Tesla Supercharging Email

Tesla Supercharging Email


Categories: Charging, Tesla

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167 Comments on "Tesla Sends Out Supercharger Abuse Emails – Many Model S Owners Not Impressed"

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There you go, advantage of model 3 – Bye, Bye.

No, the Model 3 will have the exact same “Advantage” as current Model S and X users.

The issue will be accessing the limited / popular SuperChargers as the number of Tesla Vehicles increases. The company will also have to find a method to control its SC costs over time. Despite what some may think; Tesla is a business and not a charity organization.

As for the individual(s) that got said letter– stop parasitizing using your local SC stations when you don’t have to. Tesla has the usage data for every car that got notices. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. *shrugs*

“Tesla is a business and not a charity organization.”

LOL! Tesla shareholders have been donating money to it for a long time. Only today, $500M more was thrown down the sink hole.

Don’t participate if you can’t stomach playing. Same with whining.

Well, “See Through”, we Tesla enthusiasts want to thank you for supporting Tesla with all the money you’ve collectively lost on Tesla stock short squeezes. That has been a tremendous benefit to Tesla’s stock price!

One does wonder, though, why you continue to promote your short stock position after having been through at least three squeezes. Apparently you’re a slow learner? 😀

“Apparently you’re a slow learner” It’s very obvious that ST is the least intelligent troll on this forum.

He’s a No-Learner 😀

I don’t think you understanding: people who don’t even _have_ a local Supercharger received the email. It’s one of those bungled mass mailings you read about in the news every so often.

I got the letter, and I don’t even have a Tesla!

(just kidding 🙂 )

Check out my article on this issue here:
“Why Free and Unlimited Supercharger Access can Potentially Devastate Tesla”

Not really.
Model 3 will have a fee for access to Supercharging.
Tesla can try and do some stuff to discourage heavy local Supercharging. Deprioritization, SoC limits, capped charge rates, parking time limits and so on.

With upcoming storage batteries and some solar canopy, the costs will decrease, decrease, decrease…

So what did Tesla expect when they locate Super Chargers in the middle of the city, in Sydney they have two SC’s a few kilometres from each other yet they should be 100-200km’s outside the city limits.

There will always be a**holes who will want to abuse the privilege. Sure the purchase price may have included $2k for the right for lifetime SC charging, but get real. If you own an EV then charge your damn car at home!!!! With the range of a Model S, I find it hard to believe that anyone would use it up in one day and have to constantly charge at the popular SC stations. Sh*t, have a little pride in yourselves…charge your car at home!

The point of the SC network is that you can own a Tesla anywhere. If I have an apartment how am I supposed to get 220v charging at home?

By talking your apartment manager into installing a 220v outlet near where you park your car, of course. You can point out to him (or her) that this will become commonplace in the future, as the number of electric cars grows, so they might as well start now.

Haha This is gonna raise a stink

The tragedy of the supercharger commons.

Let the super lawsuits begin!

The only issue is for some buyers who were told by sales staff to charge as much as they like.

There had already been lengthly discussion on the topic before this email. Wording had already been changed on the website to make the purpose of the Supercharger network more explicit. (Not that it wasn’t that obvious before).

This’ll just get it all over and done with. (As over and done as the Tesla career of the person who generated the mailing.)

Would it not be reasonable to include all owners on the first general reminder that SuperChargers are for road trips, so everyone’s on the same page?

Well, how does those owners get selected?

Many of those owners explained that they charged at their local SC due to the a long trip which needed to charge to get home.

If I live in SJ and go visit Healdsburg (wine country) on weekends and get some buffer charge in Petaluma SC on the way home, I would be pissed too if I get an email like this.

Sure, the best approach would have been a mass mailing to all Tesla customers, with these words removed: “As a frequent user of local Superchargers, we ask that you decrease your local Supercharging and promptly move your Model S once charging is complete…”

Then that could have been followed up in a few weeks with a more strongly worded letter to those Model S owners who continue to use Superchargers for frequent local charging.

It will be interesting to see, in coming days, just how badly Tesla bungled this. If they really did send this as an email to all Tesla Model S owners, then that was bungled badly indeed. However, a few people on the Internet claiming this is so does not constitute proof.

According to a Bloomberg article on this subject:

“I’m in sympathy with the purpose of the letter, but Tesla sent it to the wrong people,” Bill Hamilton, 70, of Napa, California, said in an interview Thursday. “This is a classic screw-up. They sent this letter out based on some algorithm that is totally incorrect. Maybe a summer intern ran the programming query. Communications is not Tesla’s strong suit.”
[end quote]

I suspect that’s what happened, or at least pretty close to the truth. The Bloomberg article also quoted one post from an owner who said he did not get the email, so I seriously doubt it was an unfiltered mass mailing to all owners.


Maybe the same person who devised the ‘improvements’ to the nag software also organised the SuC emails?

Maybe you also didn’t get the warning mail, if you have a Tesla fanboy blog or Youtube channel!?

Elon Musk has been quoted as saying that Model ≡ use of the Supercharger network will be “free”, but note he didn’t say “unlimited”. I expect Tesla to move to institute “Terms of service” on use of Superchargers for new sales. Of course, existing Model S owners will be “grandfathered in” as there were no terms imposed when they bought the car, but Tesla’s continual promotion of Supercharger use as “unlimited use free, forever” is coming back to bite them. If that’s not what Tesla really meant, if they meant “…but only for long-distance travel”, then they should have made that clear. In fact, they should have put it in as “fine print” in the buyer’s contract for the car. As it is, Tesla doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and the complaint is very bad PR for Tesla. It’s basic psychology: you can always give people more, and people appreciate it. But when you give them less than they’re used to getting, they resent it. It was inevitable that the overhead from Supercharge use would grow to a size which would start being problem for Tesla. Although I’m a Tesla enthusiast, this looks to me like poor planning… Read more »

Elon mis-spoke. He meant to say “unlimited” but not “free”. He’d be happy to sell you all you could take, but you’ve got to pay for it. Which is the way McDonald’s does business.

“I expect Tesla to move to institute “Terms of service” on use of Superchargers for new sales.”

One thing to make clear is that Tesla has never established the supercharger network as a service contract. And I doubt they will start doing that. Unlike the AT&T and Comcast analogies others have brought up, Tesla makes no service guarantee for their network. That means even if Tesla closed up all their supercharger stations, owners don’t really have a recourse.

This is unlike the AT&T and Comcast situation, where there is a service contract with the monthly fee they are charging.

And I have never understood the “free” part. As far as I know, Tesla owners pay $2k when they buy their cars for supercharger access (previously “unlimited” access). That is not free, not at all. If I paid that $2k upfront you can bet I would use the superchargers anytime I darn well pleased.

Therefore, I think your suggestion on how Tesla will handle this going forward is a likely scenario. Model 3 and probably future Model S and X owners will have free but very limited access to the superchargers. So they won’t pay $2k upfront, but they will only get so many charges per month of kWh per month or whatever. Seems reasonable. And those Model S owners who paid the $2k upfront will be grandfathered in “as long as they own the car.” That way when they sell it to someone else the grandfather clause goes away, and eventually all Tesla cars will have free but limited access to the supercharger network.

Henry Rearden said:

“And I have never understood the ‘free’ part. As far as I know, Tesla owners pay $2k when they buy their cars for supercharger access (previously ‘unlimited’ access). That is not free, not at all.”

You are correct, but it it standard business advertising practice to call something “free” if there’s a reasonable way to claim the customer doesn’t have to pay any additional cost, beyond some base cost, to get something. You know, like “Buy one, get one free!” Well, that’s not free; you had to pay something (the price of one) to get it.

While my inner Grammar Nazi is entirely in agreement with you, reasonably we can’t expect Tesla to be scrupulously honest in a situation where no other company is.

Got to side with Tesla on this one.

What were those knuckleheads thinking? Just did a quick Google search on the cost of a supercharger station it looks like for $250K one station can recharge 4 to 6 cars at a time. This works out to a cost of $41.7K to $62.5K per car.

So someone thinks they can just pay $2K or $2500 for supercharger access for their car, and now they can occupy a $41.7K to $62.5K piece of equipment all day long? Year after year? Realy?

As a likely Model 3 buyer myself, my intention is to do 90% of my charging at home. The other 10% of charging will be done at superchargers located miles from home.

Article with cost of installing a supercharger station. Not sure if the $250K is for equipment only, or if that includes land, building permits, etc.


Tesla could subsidize the cost of new charging stations by announcing a program where businesses compete to have stations installed on their grounds. I think Tesla will eventually announce a program like this, but it will only be relevant once the Model 3 release is near. If I own a Walgreens and a CVS is across the street I would want a rapid charging station in my parking lot. This only makes sense once a mass market car is released though. I own a Volt and can say I will never use any of the current charging stations. They charge so slow it is meaningless, and have laughable prices. That model of charger station will, by 2017, be proven to be a complete failure. Tesla could use its brand and charging tech to partner with businesses, and share the cost. As EVs become more common people will choose where they shop partly on if there is a fast charging, low cost station at that store. Ideally, all car manufacturers would agree on a single charger – like the universality of micro-USBs. As of right now, everyone is trying to go Apple and all have unique chargers. I believe that is… Read more »

Your comment is not making any sense. No one is parking whole day, everyday at the supercharger, as you are implying.

If Tesla promised free fuel for life, why shouldn’t people take that?

The more you talk and share your personal “ethics” with us, the more I dislike you as a person.

Really Anon? -100

For once, I agree with See Through.

People hogging charging spots is not the (real) subject of this hopla that Tesla raised. It is about how frequent (or even at all) that folks ought to be using their local SuperCharger.

David86 – let’s look at it this way. Let’s use your $250K SuperCharger cost. Say there are an average of 250 Tesla owners in the area. So $1K of my $2K cost covered the construction. The remaining $1K is my for-life electricity use. Say I’m gonnna keep my car for 10 years. That’s $100 worth of electricity a year. If I had no long road trips, can I use it occasionally to charge? At what point will I get abuse emails?

The emails have a good intent. Local owners shouldn’t be charging there every week. Pisses people off when they’re on road trips and the stations are all full. Then again, Tesla must be crazy when they build my local Supercharger stations at a MALL, and not beside the freeways.

stmpacker –

Simple. I’m going to charge at home all I can. That’s my way of being thoughtful of others who need the supercharger for long distance travel.

3 conditions I can think of that would force me into using a supercharger near home:

1 – I forgot to plug in the night before a
nd can’t get through the day without a quick charge
2 – Grid failure the night before and I can’t get through the day without a quick charge
3 – Just got home from work, got the family, and now going to head out of town for the weekend

So really, using local superchargers is for emergency type use only.

I’ll definitely use the superchargers away from home during long distance travel, which is what they’re really intended for.

Beware that electricity costs are quite high in some countries. Tesla owners there have a very good reason to use the supercharger regularly. At some places like Hong Kong and China, most owners have no other option.

Makes sense to build superchargers at a mall it is a common place for people they can eat and shop for the hour or so while supercharging and most malls have the excess electrical service needed for supercharging without much additional infrastructure. People do need to be courteous and not occupy the charger for longer than necessary. Supercharging is not yet like fueling at a gas station which only takes a couple of minutes. Although there are batteries on the horizon that will charge as fast as filling with gasoline and even faster. Infrastructure takes time however.

“As a likely Model 3 buyer myself, my intention is to do 90% of my charging at home. The other 10% of charging will be done at superchargers located miles from home.”

If you get an email like this when you used SC frequently 50 miles from your home due to few trips that you need to “buffer” to get home, would you be pissed?

Dave86 said: “Got to side with Tesla on this one. “What were those knuckleheads thinking? … “So someone thinks they can just pay $2K or $2500 for supercharger access for their car, and now they can occupy a $41.7K to $62.5K piece of equipment all day long? Year after year? Realy?” My initial reaction to Musk talking about sending out a reminder to certain Model S owners about this was the same as yours; that they are being resource hogs who are abusing the system. But then I did some research into exactly what Tesla promised about its Supercharger system, in its official press releases. Quoting from the first: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners… free long distance travel indefinitely… Tesla is demonstrating just how fundamentally better electric transport can be,”… Read more »


Dave86 said:

“What were those knuckleheads thinking? Just did a quick Google search on the cost of a supercharger station it looks like for $250K one station can recharge 4 to 6 cars at a time. This works out to a cost of $41.7K to $62.5K per car.”

I hate to agree with the troll known as “See Through” about anything at all, but for once he’s right. Your math is waaaaay off. Your figures assume only one car per Supercharger, which would only be correct if each Supercharger was reserved for an individual Model S owner. Actually, of course, one stall can service many, many cars over the course of a week or month. And trivially, each Supercharger serves two stalls, not just one.

The email seemed pretty reasonable to me! Don’t know what the fuss is about?

1) The selection of recipients was completely bungled.
2) They completely hid the issue of electricity costs, even though they are large enough to be relevant. (Though not as large as some people might think, since they’re on commercial rates based more on demand charges, making the kWhs less costly)

Seems like a well reasoned response to those who assumed they’re gonna never have to install their own EVSE’s or wait on slower charging options for their expensive cars…

I think the majority of Tesla owners will be reasonable. It would probably plot out on a nice bell curve. But there will always be a small but vocal group that has a more, shall we say, selfish and overly-entitled (perhaps even vindictive) perspective they’re willing to share with anyone who will listen to them complain.

Such is humanity.

This just killed my purchase of Tesla and their battery pack. I was planning to charge my Tesla at supercharger, and come home and charge Tesla battery pack from it, then use it to power my home. No need for any utility connection.
Tesla just lost one sale right here 🙁

You weren’t ever going to buy anything from Tesla, anyways. 😛

One less a****** customer for Tesla to deal with 😀


lol. +1

Haha! You’d be rich in no time!

Saving literally tens of dollars a month! And it would only cost you a Tesla battery and car, plus daily back and forth trips to the local supercharger.

Might want to run the math on that one, you’d earn more by getting a part time job at Taco Bell.

See Through,

Instead, you could lease a Toyota Mirai every three years. With the free hydrogen and the CHAdeMO power take off option, you could charge your Tesla Powerwall and power your house for free. Well, free up to $15,000 worth of hydrogen. Toyota was smart enough to put a limit on free hydrogen fueling.


Yep, Tesla left me no choice 🙁 I don’t need their battery pack then. Mirai has V2G (Vehicle to Grid), that Tesla removed from the Model S, despite owner complaints.

Hahaha! See Through, you are such a joker. You were never interested in buying a Tesla. What a laugh.

I am actually surprised the moderators don’t remove posters that are obviously not interested in the topic at hand, but instead have other agendas for being on these forums (stock manipulation? paid postings from Toyota?).

Good for a laugh, though.

“See Through” said:

“This just killed my purchase of Tesla and their battery pack.”

Hey “See Through”, how many times now have you claimed that something-or-other was “the” reason you canceled your order for a Model S? Are you up to 100 yet?

I suppose those who have not read all too many of your Tesla-bashing posts here and on Seeking Alpha don’t realize that you’re a habitual liar and a persistent troll.

At least he has found his niche in life, and he does it well.

Oh please, I don’t think you’d buy a $5 keychain from Tesla.

And you know it.

Other than to be a troll, why are you even here?

“Other than to be a troll, why are you even here?”

Thats about it, he’s here to be a troll (oh, and his wife likely won’t give him any attention)

This is like the unlimited downloads allowed by internet service providers when they started (broadband) …

Or you mean the lawsuit that Comcast got due to excesive usage limitation that Comcast end up backing off?

evnow said:

“This is like the unlimited downloads allowed by internet service providers when they started (broadband)…”

Thank you! That analogy is quite apt and very much to the point.

In both cases, the companies were horrified to discover that many of their customers acted on what their marketing departments promised, as if it were actually true!

“Hey, it’s not our fault that our customers didn’t realize that was mostly hype!” Well, actually… it is entirely your fault.

If I was a condo living BEV enthusiats who doesn’t have access to home charging but very close to a Supercharging site, I would have bought a Model 3 or Model S/X. Now, with this news, I would have to reconsider?

Is Tesla saying that if you can’t charge at home, then don’t buy my car?

YES. If you don’t have the ability to charge at home, you really should not get an electric. Some people are just to cheap to install an electric vehicle charging station. This is like buying a camper the discoving that would not fit in the garage. It’s easier to charge at home. Going to super charger is like going to gas station.

There is a certain type of people who will go all out and stretch their budget to buy a luxury car. Then they save by eating MacDonald’s. They’ll also blow a fuse when they get a big bill for routine maintenance.

It will be these sort of people that will buy a Model S but try to save on electricity cost by charging at the Superchargers instead of at home.

That mindset will doom EV adoption. How many people have a home where they can run 220 power? Most landlords will not want to pay for the cost of the install. You want to make EVs like an ICE car but now they back pedal.

I don’t get it. EVs are not supposed to be for the rich home owners only.


I read this exactly as “if you can’t charge at home or work you can’t have a tesla.” So I geuss there will have to be more than one car manufacturer in the end

I’m hoping that I can purchase the Model ≡ CUV and travel. If I need to pay $2K to get Supercharger privileges, I will, but I will expect to be able to use it as many times as I need to get where I want to go!

This is why “all you can eat”, “umlimited” or “flat fee” services often don’t work…

Same with communism…

Tesla’s Supercharging communist model must end. 🙂

I agree with Tesla.
The SC’s are not for daily fill ups. I think UBER is abusing the system along with the taxi cabs

From the perspective of the businesses that let Tesla site a supercharger in their parking lot supposed for free in exchange for the expectation of increased customers, it doesn’t matter to them if the person charging is a local person abusing the privilege or a out-of-towner on a long distance trip. All the business owner cares about is getting more customers/foot-traffic in their business. The business owner might ever prefer local Tesla owners supercharging, since they are more likely to be returning customers to his business. The business owners are probably not happy that Tesla is trying to discourage local people from supercharging, since it means less potential customers for their business. An example would be David Nolan from Green Car Reports who supercharges locally at a pizzeria/restaurant near his home. The restaurant owner doesn’t care that David is local and abusing the supercharger. The restaurant owner only cares about whether the person supercharging comes in to the restaurant to spend some money. To the restaurant owner, if not enough people who use the supercharger (local or not) come in and spend money, why should the owner continue to host a supercharger on his property for free that takes up… Read more »

Makes perfect sense, and you certainly can’t fault people for wanting to charge up while they visit their local merchant and the latter wanting that customer.
Clearly a conflict of interest between Tesla’s hopes of how the sc network would be used as opposed to the most convenient way in which it is used.

Good point. Might I add, that someone who travels long distance extensively can also be abusing the system, as he is using way more than he paid for? I mean, what’s the difference whether I am making lots of rounds in the same city or between cities?

The crux of the problem here is the free thing. Tesla should instead charge a fair amount, so no one abuses it too much.

It’s just that the statistical probability of the long distance traveler is less likely, otherwise there is no difference.
Tesla has somewhat painted themselves into a corner but a small fee would put a lie to their, “Drive free on sunlight forever.”

sven said:

“From the perspective of the businesses that let Tesla site a supercharger in their parking lot supposed for free in exchange for the expectation of increased customers…”

That would be an appropriate place for a “destination charger”; a 220v slow charge point. That is not an appropriate place for a Supercharger.

The correct comparison for a Supercharger location is a gas station located along the highway in between cities. It’s not your local shopping center.

That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be any Superchargers located in urban areas; the need for fast charging in an urban area will sometimes happen. But urban Superchargers shouldn’t be located where they will attract frequent visits by locals. Putting it next to a popular restaurant or at a shopping center will attract exactly the kind of local Supercharging that Tesla wants to discourage.

Note that Tesla usually promotes Superchargers as being sited conveniently near restaurants, restrooms, and the like, so people can refresh and recharge themselves, while the car recharges!

Maybe it is time for Tesla to create a distinctive mid-sized ‘City Quick Charger’ of 60 – 80 kW at city locations, specifically for local access, and crate an access APP for that, that shows the users (and of course, Tesla) what their use is at any of these units they have used. This could be specifically for in town use by locals with or without home garages, and could be a pay as you go plan!

The logical consequence of an imperfect system. Egg on Tesla’s face to be sure, but they are still just a toddler learning to walk. Their bungling of this shaming effort is somewhat laughable but relatively harmless if they can manage to assuage some upset owners and attempt to rectify the situation.

They need to install some “other” type of charger in these busy city areas and not call them “superchargers.” They can have the same hardware but call them something else like “citycharger” or something like that, and make customers pay to use them. $5 or $10 per session ought to work out.

That way the superchargers remain free for travel use and people who need fillups in the city have a pay-for alternative.

In some places the electricity by itself could cost over $20. You would have to make it $10 to $30 to keep it more expensive than charging at home. Even more if you want to make a profit.

Over $20 for, at most, perhaps 75 kWh of electricity? That’s over 26¢ per kWh.

Admittedly it is that expensive in Hawaii, but is it anywhere else in the USA? So far as I know, Hawaii has about twice the rate of anywhere in the Continental USA.

But it may be that expensive in Germany, too; or at least close to it.

That they apparently already have trouble with congested chargers with only ~75000 cars sold, makes me wonder how scalable the supercharger model really is.

Also, a bit creepy that they apparently know exactly when and where people drive and charge from their telemetry. A dream for the NSA and authoritarian governments world-wide. 😉

I doubt that Tesla has any information the NSA doesn’t already have. The cell phone in your pocket is already telling NSA everything they want.

If SuperChargers are for long distance travel only, why has Tesla installed multiple SuperChargers in Hong Kong? Yes, in theory someone could come over from the mainland, but I bet they account for <1% of the usage.

A cell phone can be turned off, or you can buy a burner phone anonymously. But it seems there is no way to prevent your car from transmitting if you drive a Tesla. I guess we’ll have to get used to the total surveillance state …

It’s probably trivial. Find the 4G antenna, remove, or remove connection to it. Cap the antenna jack. Done.

But then of course you’d have no maps and no access to the Web, etc.

And, given that Verizon or ATT already knows all about your movements, even on foot and within large buildings, do you really trust Tesla >less< than the big telcos?

Sure, but what use is a turned-off cell phone?

Well, let’s say you’re a government whistle blower in an authoritarian regime and want to meet with a reporter. Obviously you’ll turn your cell phone off because you know it’ll be tracked otherwise. But if all cars have telemetry that cannot be turned off, you’ll no longer be able to avoid the surveillance. It’s another piece in the mosaic of total surveillance.

Having never owned an S, I’ve never Used a Supercharger. But when they came out, I posited that Tesla would have difficulty going over 150 kw. Many attacked, saying Tesla will go to 300 kw, and even 1000 kw is deireable. The problem is, with the EMAILS in 2015, they have reached the near end of this admittedly Ponzi scheme. For the current supercharger model to cover its costs, Tesla needs to keep doubling its sales in the states, something which has stopped. With fewer people purchasing cars, there’s not as many $2000/car that Tesla needs. What to do? Tesla has promised free supercharging anywhere and everywhere to existing customers. The only way I see them able to slightly weasle out of that agreement is to say, allow 120 kw the FIRST time a user stops at a given Supercharger site each month. Then, for all subsequent visits, the car would be told to only use 25 kw at this site. By doing that, instead of having only 2 stalls per charger (the SC by me has 4 charger bays and 8 stalls – 2 per charger). So, where congestion of all the present and future Tesla customers appears at… Read more »

Tesla is screwed on this one. It said you can use them as much as you want and there will be people that will abuse the privilege. You can’t change human behavior. A jerk will always be a jerk. A selfish jerk will continue to be a selfish jerk. Tesla will not be able to modify people’s behavior. This will get worse with the Model 3.

How about limiting the amount of free Supercharges per year? This can only work for the more recent buyers since the rules for older buyers are already set. It shouldn’t be too hard to work out the details.

While there will always be selfish jerks, I think Tesla is thinking if they ask nicely, most people will listen. The issue right now isn’t really that severe, so all Tesla has to do is to push the community in the right direction in terms of expectations about supercharger usage. Soft measures like this is far better than usage caps.

The issue is already severe in China and Hong Kong*. And I suspect it’s already more severe than you realize, since Tesla has already sent out a warning letter about this, and not just to Chinese owners of the Model S. Someone already made a reference to “Tragedy of the commons”. That may not be precisely the situation here, but it’s close. The point is that if a culture allows unlimited use of a valued resource, people will take advantage of it until it’s gone… or, in the case of Supercharges, not gone but rather overcrowded to the point of being unavailable to many who need to use it. Tesla will have to move to some sort of limitation on use. If Elon sticks to his promise that Supercharger use will be “free” for Model ≡ owners, then that “free” use will be limited in some fashion. Perhaps limited by kWh per month or per year, or limited by number of times Superchargers are accessed per month or per year. I would also expect Tesla to start charging for any use beyond that limit. Now, that’s not to say that I can guess just how Tesla Motors will go about… Read more »

If the issue was actually severe they would not only be doing letters. Letters are a pretty mild approach.

Last I looked the supercharger usage was slightly over 5% of all travel by the Model S fleet. That is still sustainable under Tesla’s cost model.

As for congestion, the China/Hong Kong situation is different. There, they built superchargers for people without home charging. Thus those superchargers are expected to be crowded.

In the US, I believe only the LA superchargers match that criteria. There have only been a handful of stations that have experienced congestion problems in the US (and was fixed with more stalls).

I certainly agree the China situation is different, because most Chinese are renters rather than home owners, and because it’s very difficult for most renters to get a reserved parking spot and to get an EV charger installed there.

So the China situation really should be treated as a separate topic.

Is it really as difficult for renters in Hong Kong to get a reserved parking place an get an EV charger installed? I don’t know why it would be, since (as far as I know) they’re still mostly using the British system for local/municipal regulations.

Yep, Tesla screwed up. And in such an obvious way. The superchargers never should have been “free”, nor should any public EV chargers. It’s not about defraying the cost (much), it’s about “need” charging vs. opportunity charging. People optimize over small amounts of money even though it makes little sense. Charge $5/hr. at the superchargers and the “abusers” would mostly disappear.

What about modifying that famous Pizza Slogan of ’30 minute delivery, or it’s free, to ‘First 30 minutes of Supercharging is free at any Supercharger, after that it’s $5.00 per hour! Would that be marketable now?

Does the Tesla Model S APP tell you how long your car has been connected at the Supercharger? Could it be updated to warn you of extended parking at the station, either – if your car is full, or if there was a line up forming?

Could not this whole letter thing be handled better by the phone APP?
New features:
-Excessive Local Use warnings at 75%, 90%, and 100% of some number of weekly, monthly, visits or energy useage value?
-Excessive long parking after car is charged warning.
-Lineup forming warning – please move car!

Seems to me the few Tesla owners without smart phones could be easily known, and dealt with by such emails, but the app approach is self personalizing, direct, and more timely!?

@Grendal: Agreed.

An annual or monthly limit would be a good way for people to manage their own behavior, just like a cell phone with 300 minutes/month.

Otherwise, “free” and “unlimited” will be overused and abused by consumers, and there’s nothing Tesla can do to change it by talking nice.

This DOES give me pause about the Model 3. That mythical car is still at the top of my list, but I’m not eager to receive chastising letters from the manufacturer.

Tesla MUST get this under control, or in a few years their Superchargers will look like Black Friday at Walmart. The letter doesn’t cut it.

It’s not that big a problem if Tesla comes up with a plan, now, to deal with the issues. I like the idea of a limitation per month and a fee for excess use. The amount needs to equal a trip across the US and back. Say 15 hours of Supercharging a month. That’s half an hour every other day.

As I’ve said before, the all-you-can-eat model should not be given to model 3 buyers. Instead have a $50-$100 registration fee and then charge maybe $.15/kWh.

Tesla already get all information they need about the customer when he or she plugs in, they don’t need to implement a payment solution at the supercharger site. Instead they could just handle it with a web shop on their homepage with either a prepaid solution or a monthly bill.

Why not? Just exclude superchargers within a 30 mile radius of your home. Then you can have unlimited supercharging for long distance travel, no problem.
And you could use the superchargers within your 30 mile radius for free say twice a month, to cover those times when you are heading back home and are low on charge.
If you try to use it more times, the supercharger should stop when you have 45 miles of range, enough to get home with a 50% margin.

Then I’d just lie and tell Tesla I live 30 miles away at my brothers. What do I have to lose?

I think there is a misprint in the article. Where the email says ’40 miles for 2 dollars’, the article says ’40 miles for $40′.

Thats some pricey Electricity!

As I said the day before, “Tesla’s superchargers will be free forever until they are not!”. hehehe.

I have to say, this is as DIPLOMATIC as any communication I’ve ever seen from Tesla.

I can’t really fault them here. This day had to come, and it will come again even stronger with increasing sales of S’s and subsequent products.

You could fault them for making the , in essence, sales pitch “Spend $2000 now and charge forever, whenever and wherever for free forever always”.

Some tesla customers actually believed the above paragraph.

As mentioned, those who have not made contingency arrangements at work locations or homeowner’s associations, or landlords, are going to be in an increasingly tightening pickle.

The taxi drivers and Uber drivers will be hit the hardest. Appears the taxis at Amsterdam airport have been using the super charger all the time.


Tesla Owners Frustrated by Recharge Waits
Complaints about long lines to top-off batteries has sparked warnings to frequent users
By Mike Ramsey and
Ellen Proper
June 30, 2015 3:00 p.m. ET

AMSTERDAM—Matthijs van Seventer won’t take his Model S electric sedan to the Tesla charging station in the southeast part of the city if he is in a hurry. The chargers are typically loaded with taxicabs serving Schiphol airport.

“It’s barely viable,” he said standing near a row of superchargers, which for Tesla owners ..

This is one consequence of Tesla not instituting “Terms of Service” for Supercharger use from the start. It’s commonplace for terms of service on consumer goods to disallow commercial use, which is exactly what taxis using Superchargers is.

Tesla did not intend for the Supercharger system to support taxi companies, and it should move immediately to bar that completely.

As I’ve said or at least implied, Tesla did not exercise adequate foresight regarding use of its Superchargers.

I think that was when you had another name, or maybe I am confused. Your old call sign.

I used to post here as “Lensman”, with this avatar:

I changed it because “Lensman” (an homage to the classic science fiction series) doesn’t really fit why I post here, and when Jay Cole mentioned that he used to photoshop llamas into pictures at a former job, the evil thought of using a two-headed llama avatar occurred to me… 😀

I Disagree. Tesla is no naive company. It knew precisely what it was doing with using the supercharger to entice sales. Commercial vehicles included as Tesla only cared about the sale.

Certainly the primary purpose of Superchargers, perhaps the only purpose from Tesla’s viewpoint, is to entice sales of Tesla cars. But if Tesla actually anticipated the Supercharger usage it’s getting, and adequately planned for it, then they wouldn’t need to be sending out warning letters to customers in the USA. The only place they should be having this problem is in China.

The fact that Elon Musk complained about it, and now Tesla has sent out not-so-gentle reminder letters, is pretty clear evidence that Tesla did not adequately plan for how this would develop.

I predict this is only the first step. I predict Tesla will move to place some sort of limit on use of Superchargers in the future, and probably the fairly near future. Probably they will institute a new policy before they start selling the Model ≡.

I have to say, this gives me pause. I’m still a likely future Model 3 customer, but it does give me pause.

You are right. You will be better off buying a gas car from a company that offers free gas for long distance travel.

That’s not the point. This is a sign that Tesla misjudged the Supercharger network and/or its customer base. Worse, they’re “hoping” to fix it with a nice letter – won’t work.

I also have my eye on the Model 3, but this debacle shows an important lapse in business savvy. It could be less trouble to just drive a hybrid.

I think you missed my point. Tesla’s whole plan was for using their cars not just as a super or uber commuter, but to use them the way we use cars today, for just about everything. That was the point behind the supercharger. Charge at home/work for commuting, use the superchargers for long distance trips or travel. However, if you’re someone who makes frequent 100+ mile trips along a specific corridor (i.e. Sacramento – Bay Area or Sacramento – LA as is my case) then they could be tempted to tell me that I’m “overusing” the superchargers along those routes because of the heavy “congestion” at those superchargers. If that is the case, I will be less likely to use a Model 3 as a multi-purpose vehicle and more likely to use it as strictly a commuter and tell Tesla “I’ll keep the $2000 and you can keep the supercharger.” Then I’d get a hybrid or PHEV for my long distance trips and use gas for those trips instead of electrons. It’s lame that it would come to that, but that’s what I’d do. Like I said, it gives me pause. It won’t stop me from getting a Model 3,… Read more »
I have only had a Tesla as my main/only car for now almost 3 years and a total mileage of 39,000 miles. I have taken 3 road trips from Sacramento to Portland and another from Sacramento to Denver and back via the Utah Parklands. I do have a variety of commutes to SF and then all around the GREATER Sacramento region and have used Superchargers for those longer road trips, for topping off on Sacramento-SF trips and for some confidence on my greater Sacramento area (mostly the Rocklin Service Center SC for those). Only 3 times over ALL that driving have I EVER had to wait to get access to a Supercharge cable and those waits were less than 5 minutes. I have NEVER (yet) seen any long lines of Model S owners staging for “next access” here on the West Coast. Crowded Superchargers MAY happen as the Model S and X proliferate, BUT that is absolutely NOT the case now. Tesla has ZERO reason in terms of customer overcrowding to send out that letter. The cited reason for the letter is simply GARBAGE! I might also note that I have a Tesla HPWC system in my home garage on… Read more »

George Parrott said:

“Crowded Superchargers MAY happen as the Model S and X proliferate, BUT that is absolutely NOT the case now. Tesla has ZERO reason in terms of customer overcrowding to send out that letter. The cited reason for the letter is simply GARBAGE!”

Yes and no. On average, Supercharger use isn’t crowded, and waiting lines are rare. But it’s normal human behavior to have selective observation. You don’t notice green lights, or remember them once you’re past. But you notice the red lights because they annoy you.

It’s been quite some time, I think over a year, since we saw the first reports of waiting lines at Superchargers, during evening weekend hours on the highway between Las Vegas and California. Since your use of Superchargers is not frequent, it’s not surprising that you have never encountered a waiting line. But in certain well-traveled corridors, at certain times of the day or week, there is some congestion.

Those Model S owners who do encounter waiting lines will tend to be annoyed, and will tend to remember those times they had to wait. They will complain about it; that’s just human nature.

This is precisely the reason why my wife is skeptical about driving a Tesla from Sac to LA on our 3 or 4 trips per year. I5 is a heavily traveled corridor and right now there are only two superchargers between Sac and LA (Harris Ranch and Tejon Ranch). I can see lines forming at those. However, I think the problem is more infrastructure than congestion. It’s the same here in Sacramento. The City has over 500 people in their EV parking program but LESS than 100 charging points (I think it is around 70). A lot of people in the program have given up even trying to get a charging spot because of how congested it has gotten. The problem is not that there are too many people, the problem is that there are not enough chargers. Tesla can send out all the emails they want but, as has been said, people do what they do and the solution to congestion is infrastructure. This is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night and makes me worry about the future of PEVs. If companies and government agencies don’t start getting serious, more aggressive, and seriously more aggressive,… Read more »

I should point out that Tesla is the most aggressive about rolling out infrastructure. However, given the reports of waiting and congestion at some of their superchargers, it looks like they are letting the heavily trafficked corridors slip.

Scramjett said:

“A lot of people in the program have given up even trying to get a charging spot because of how congested it has gotten.”

Actually I see this as a good sign. There needs to be sufficient demand before entrepreneurs start building for-profit EV fast-charge stations. From what you’re saying, there may well be sufficient demand in a few ares for someone to start building those.

Looking at the long term, Superchargers are only a stopgap measure to support Tesla cars until such time as there is a nationwide network of for-profit fast-charge stations; and ultimately, super-fast-charge stations, when EVs are built capable of super-fast-charging.

Neither Ford nor GM nor Toyota nor any other gasmobile maker has any need to build its own exclusive network of gas stations to support sales of its gasmobiles. Eventually, that will be true of plug-in EVs too.

I’m very skeptical of for-profit anything. I prefer public infrastructure over private infrastructure. I view free fast charging as a public amenity and would prefer that over for-profit fast charging for the same reason why I’m glad I have a public utility instead of PG&E (which, as has been pointed out by many NorCal PG&E customers stands for “Price Gouge & Extort”). I will not ever use for-profit chargers and if that is all there is, I will be more likely to stick with plug-in hybrids and charge mostly at home. If I ever use a for-profit charger, it will because I have a BEV (like a Tesla) and it’s an emergency.

Even the CEO of ChargePoint agrees with me…

70 to 100 chargers for just 500 cars is a lot! Do you expect the city to build a charger for each car?
The real problem is that slow charging of EVs. It the EVs could be refilled like gas cars withink minutes, 3-4 stations would be enough for 500 cars.

That depends on your point of view. If the City’s chargers were not used the way they are now (as in only occasionally for shopping, errands or such) then I would agree and that is plenty. However, these chargers are primarily being used as workplace chargers by the vast majority of those 500 participants. When you’ve got nearly 500 participants who joined the program for workplace charging then you need a little bit more than the 70 some-odd chargers that are available. I’m not saying it should be one charger per person, but I’d say that you’d need enough chargers to cover at least 25% to 33% of the program participants. The danger here is that people will get turned off to using PEVs as commuter vehicles and could put a kink in the State’s plan for cutting fossil fuels in transportation 50% by 2030. I will say that if these long range EVs come to market, it would help relieve some of the congestion since you won’t need to charge daily anymore. HOWEVER, most of these spots have a 4 hour charging limit, which will be a problem for getting a full charge off of these L2 chargers.

I could care less. And Tesla did say in the beginning that there would be free “long” distance charging for life.

I only charge at home and have a 70-80 mile range Smart ED, there is no need for me to charge ANYWHERE else but home.

Only on a long distance trip would be when i’d have to charge, and thats an extremely rare occurrence.

Hopefully people stop abusing the SC’s, there’s no need to use it multiple times a day

me too, Nissan Leaf, 12 amps is plenty. Where are these people going??

We already have this stuff for our internet. It’s called a ‘fair use policy’.

Better that Tesla gives it the proper name so people know what to expect.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“Is Tesla saying that if you can’t charge at home, then don’t buy my car?”

Tesla certainly should; or at a minimum, able to charge at work. Early reports were that Tesla was checking out every Model S customer to make sure they had a charge point installed at home before they took delivery. I guess from what I’ve read that Tesla no longer does that, but they certainly should make it very clear to potential customers that they need a reserved parking place with an EV charger installed, either at home or at work, to make driving a BEV practical.

There will come a time in which virtually every gasmobile driver should be able to switch to driving a BEV. But that won’t happen until installing 220v outlets beside every parking space in parking lots and at municipal curbside parking becomes the norm. We’re probably a full generation or so away from that.

At present, while we’re still stuck in the “early adopter” era of the EV revolution, then yes, every BEV owner had better have their own individual EV charge point.

Sorry – I should have read your post before repeating what you said with part of mine. But, just because you can’t charge at home doesn’t (by any means) mean you can’t have an EV. You might be able to do all your charging at work – or on the way to work – if e.g. you drive part of the way and park your car at a rail station to do the rest. The 9 hours or so you are away would be ample time for most EV use. Alternatively, you might be able to take your EV shopping etc somewhere that has charging facilities once or more a week. However, ultimately if we are all going down the electric road, local authorities will have to implement some sort of charging provision on ALL streets where on-street parking happens. Not so much an issue in the US but a colossal one in much of Europe and other more densely populated parts of the world where as much as 70% of driver’s homes have no off-street parking. Whether that be adapted street furniture (lamp posts etc), new furniture or inductive systems embedded in the road is the question… and so… Read more »

Who will pay for municipal governments installing curbside 220v chargers, to enable EVs to charge at all public parking places?

The same people who pay for roads, and curbs, and sidewalks, and other municipal improvements. Taxpayers, of course.

I can see, just from your question, that people will be complaining about the added expense. But that’s a basic taxypayer right; to complain about the taxes. And we complain about problems with the services those taxes pay for, too. That doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary.

Look at it this way: Installing curbside 220v outlets in all residential areas where people park at the curb will be a much, much less expensive infrastructure improvement than paving all the streets was in a previous generation. The motorcar revolution transformed our cities much more than the EV revolution will.

I don’t anticipate we’ll need to pay for full-on EV charge points at every curbside parking place. The EV-Line brand charging system points to a way to use simple 220v chargers, each with a radio-frequency on/off switch, and billing for individual customers. The EVSE is portable and is provided by the customer, not by the municipality.

Details on the EV-Line charging system:


Why would anyone buy an ev if they cant charge at home or at least at a place of business that They own?

Because they need a car to drive to work, that doesn’t get banned from driving when there is smog alarm?

Because supercharger.

For example, I am lucky to have a home and a charger at home.

But there is also a SC within 1 mile of my house. If I rent and can’t charge, I would certainty buy a Tesla over other EVs due to SC. It would allow me to charge 1x per week for commute and long distance weekend driving.

No-one has asked the obvious question yet, so I will. Where does all this leave the Tesla owner who *can’t* charge at home. Are Tesla saying if you can’t charge at home (or work, I suppose) you can’t own a Tesla?

I really think they need to pin down what the deal is here as, like most people, I’m sure, when Tesla (even Elon) said “free forever, whenever” I kind of assumed they meant it? But the accepted (by me, anyway) unspoken bit was – “But don’t take the micky!” This would mean that if you have no means to charge at home then you could do all your charging at your local SuC – but how does Tesla know if this is your position or not? They didn’t ask me if I could charge at home when I ordered my MS…! MW

From the very first time Musk introduced the supercharger concept he stated it was for long distance travel. Funny how people only remember the “for free, forever” part, but forget the other part.
Some people see the word “free” and lose all sense of reality.

Does it take a lot of brain power to understand that Musk did not build Tesla for the purpose of subsidizing Uber? How hard is this concept to grasp?

It doesn’t matter what Mr Musk said. What matters is what’s legally binding in a contract.

His good intentions and a tacit understanding with early adopters isn’t working. You can’t expect a future buyer who’s switching from their commuter Camry to a Model 3 to abide by some vague guidance regarding ‘proper’ use of ‘free’ chargers.

Exactly. Tesla Motors will institute “Terms of service” for using Superchargers not because it wants to, but because the company has no choice.

And how many Tesla owners is that, exactly? I’m sure you can count them on one hand.

martinwinlow asked: “No-one has asked the obvious question yet, so I will. Where does all this leave the Tesla owner who *can’t* charge at home. Are Tesla saying if you can’t charge at home (or work, I suppose) you can’t own a Tesla?” First answer this question: Why would you (or anyone) buy a plug-in EV of any kind if you don’t have a place to plug it in at home? That makes no more sense than buying a refrigerator for a house with no electricity. Now, that’s not to say that you need to have a garage. An EV charge point can be installed in a carport, or on the outside of a house, or on a post next to a driveway, or — for renters — next to the parking stall in your apartment building’s parking lot. Are there people who just shouldn’t buy a plug-in EV? Absolutely. If you have only curbside parking where you live, then you shouldn’t. This is one sign that EVs are still in the “early adopter” era. There was a similar situation during the transition between the horse-and-buggy era and the motorcar era; the motorcar revolution. Those who had no place to… Read more »

NRG eVgo QCs can be up to $11 for 30 min at ~42 kW initially. What would you pay for 30 min of SC?

Future Tesla owners, with no home station options, need only an appropriate monthly plan.

It’s been my experience that Tesla owners are disproportionately a*******. For example, the only make of EV I’ve ever seen parked in prime EV only charging spots yet not plugged in are Teslas. Tesla owners frequently think of their own convenience first.

What part of unlimited use for the life of the car is misunderstood? I will never be able to afford one but if I spent that kind of money and then use a service that I paid for. Then told I was using to much I would be pissed to.

Because you didn’t pay for it. The famous $2000 fee does not cover lifetime electricity costs for a Model S, or anywhere near it. At $0.10 a kWh, it covers about 20,000 miles. Adequate for quite a bit of long distance driving. It’s unlimited only to accomodate different levels of long distance travel. Some people will travel very ocassionally, others more often. The average should work out to about 20,000 miles.
The point was to make it easy to use, without swiping a card, getting a bill, etc.

But if you add local use, particularly local use connected to car sharing like Uber, then you are getting far more juice than you paid for, and you are making Tesla subsidize Uber or whomever it might be. That’s flies against the spirit of supercharging.

So because some people are pathologically inclined to max out any benefit they may see in any arrangement, the rest of us will be stuck with bureacracy to prevent that. And this is why we can’t have nice things.

Do you apply the same metrics to an “unlimited” talk/data plan from your mobile phone provider?

“Unlimited” means exactly that. If it’s a bad financial transaction for Tesla to provide unlimited free charging, they should have priced it differently.

Until Tesla fences in ‘unlimited’ and ‘free’ Supercharging with a written contract, it will continue to be the Wild West.

The ‘spirit’ of Supercharging carries no weight with consumers.

I can see both sides of this argument. Tesla clearly advertised the “free” nature of the SC network, and admittedly even charged $2,000 for the right to use it. How much juice $2K buys a Tesla owner I have no idea. However, over time(as in years)I would think it’s a good deal for the Tesla driver. Tesla probably meant exactly what Elon said, that the SC’s were intended ‘primarily’ for long distance travel. However, he has public language that suggests no restrictions. There are no US courts that would side with Tesla if push came to shove. A contract will always be ruled in favor of the consumer if there is any ambiguity(and I don’t even think that there really is). Tesla is a victim of their own success. Worse things can happen. No doubt that future Tesla owners will probably have sales contracts that, in some way, establish parameters for SC use. No real harm in that, but then Tesla has to reevaluate the $2K fee. Tesla could have(should have)done a better job on the e-mail, but will simply have to eat the losses(if there really are any, which I doubt)on those drivers “overusing” the SC’s until they ramp… Read more »

I can’t believe some Model S users are TOO CHEAP to charge at home most of the time when they don’t travel.

Are some rich people misers? Of course they are. The term “miser” does not apply only to fictional characters like Ebeneezer Scrooge. The term “miser” would not exist if some rich people — indeed, a lot of rich people — were not cheap, grasping skinflints.

It’s amazing how far some people will go out of their way to get something “free” even when they have to spend a lot of time and effort to get it. Even when they “pay” a lot more in the time and effort they spend to get that “free” thing.

This, too, is human nature.

Musk assumed that anyone who bought a Tesla was a stand up guy who would never abuse the system,


There aren’t exactly zillions of individual Super Charger bays, and so it only takes a couple of thoughtless locals hogging the charger bays to derail the long distance, free cross country Super Charger concept for everyone else.

A 12 year old kid could have figured out that some individuals were going to abuse the fast chargers.

“Free Pizza – All You Can Eat”

” A 12 year old could figure out….” Yes, he could, but then, you’d think more 12 year old brains would figure out that building and operating a SuperCharger installation isn’t cheap, and the $$$ get pretty depressing when car sales stop doubling. That’s a lot less $2000/car. On the latest article, I came up with plan to make this Tesla Lemons situation into Lemonaide for them, similar to the cell-phone unlimited data plan. Tesla is still welching a bit on the agreement, but at least everyone anywhere still gets to charge. The heavy users just wont get superfast charging, and yes, the ‘hogs’ may be at the station longer. To accomodate that scenario, and to increase Charger Bay Utilization, I recommend 4 stalls per CB rather than 2, which will be easily accomodated since the ‘hogs’ won’t be allowed to use up more than a very small percentage of CB capacity, and the Stalls themselves are of almost no cost. But the added stalls will be necessary for the hogs, because they will, rightly or wrongly, be there charging, some a very, long time, but they’d be in the smaller percentages. Most will just give up and charge at… Read more »

Started on a trip in March, realized after 60 miles, had forgotten something that we needed. Returned home then used the local Super Charger to continue on the trip. For this, I get a letter?

Why don’t they just limit all future sales with a clause stating supercharging is available based on a radius from your home address of which could be updated with Tesla if you moved. Something like only two charges a month within a 25 mile radius of your home and up to 5 per month at the same supercharger anywhere else for free and then charge $15 per session for anything over that. Something like that would be very reasonable.

The statement in the post and many comments that Model S owners paid $2000 for supercharging is incorrect. This came from supercharging hardware and software in the car being a $2000 option with the now-discontinued 60 kWh battery and was standard with the 85. Now all cars come with supercharging enabled. There was no $2000 fee for the supercharging network as part of the car purchase. It was for the DC charging components in the car, which by the way are also needed to charge from CHAdeMO stations.

If so, I stand corrected. My understanding of the $2,000 charge was based on previous, numerous references to it. Not being a Tesla owner, admit that I depend on others for many of the details.


Ed said:

“The statement in the post and many comments that Model S owners paid $2000 for supercharging is incorrect. This came from supercharging hardware and software in the car being a $2000 option with the now-discontinued 60 kWh battery and was standard with the 85. Now all cars come with supercharging enabled. There was no $2000 fee for the supercharging network as part of the car purchase.”

That turns out not to be the case. The Model S owner did pay $2000 for supposedly “unlimited” use of the Supercharger network. That $2000 fee was included in the price of your Model S, whether he realized it or not. Just because it’s now “standard equipment” and not an option, doesn’t mean he didn’t pay for it.

At least, that’s Tesla’s official position on the matter; and that’s what counts, since Tesla controls who does or does not use the Supercharger network.

That is not my recollection, but I’ve had memory isues before.
A buyer of the S60 could ‘add’ SC access after the fact – $2000 at time of sale or $2500 at a later time. There was no service appointment ta ADD hardware that I recall, but maybe no one did it (S60 orders were far below the S85) or those that did weren’t descriptive about the entire procedure.

We are struggling with EV etiquette at my workplace. We have limited charging capacity and it is tough to get users to move their cars promptly. We discourage high mileage vehicles like Teslas from using the charging since they can more appropriately charge at home off peak electric grid hours. We are seeing entitlement behavior particularly with Tesla owners. When Emily Post first wrote about etiquette, it wasn’t intended to teach the lower classes how to act rich, but rather teach the rich not to treat others poorly.

Great comment.

As for EV charging etiquette, that’s a foreign concept to me here in western PA EV wilderness. After 3 years, I’ve never met another EV driver, rarely see another BEV, and still remain the only EV driver in my office of 200+ people. ~lonely~

Regarding manners, there are several commenters here who are strongly requesting Tesla to live up to its agreements as agreed to. I got a hint that they were trying to deceive me on my Roadster because they promised “totally free service for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever came first”. Then, when the Model S came out, and you only got that deal if you paid for a ‘maintenance plan’, the service centers tried to say I wasn’t due free service since I didn’t subscribe to a maintenance plan. So I had to HUFF and PUFF and get plenty of people on from Tesla California to say, yes, I get free rover service with the Roadster, which always had a better warranty than the S. It now appears Tesla Corporate is trying a bit of sleight of hand by saying “BAD PEOPLE are using our SUPERCHARGERS”.. Good or bad, as it may be, that waw the agreement Tesla had with S owners who paid the $2000, and If I can read between the lines of several of the commenters, they are of one of 2 minds about it. 1). Some future Tesla owners of either an S, X, or 3,… Read more »

I tend to believe that Tesla’s solution here will ultimately be the same solution that AT&T used to get people off of the grandfathered “unlimited data” plans from the original iPhone:

“unlimited” is not any guarantee of rate of delivery

Without making any change to “use as much as you want, for free,” Tesla could implement throttling to address this problem. A very simple solution would be to give you 100kWh per month at a given SC station at max rate (120kW), then gradually dial it down to ~10kW (i.e. Level 2 charging speeds) after that. You would still be allowing users to charge “as much as they want,” just not any faster than home.

The one problem with this solution is that by slowing down the rate, you would potentially be congesting the stalls. However, I think Tesla’s real problem is not stall availability, but energy costs.

‘“unlimited” is not any guarantee of rate of delivery’

Actually, it is, in this case.

Many have said this before, so I’ll make it short.

The one that sells the product and establishes the rule – Tesla.
The buyer does NOT have any mean to negotiate on those terms.

In the eye of the law, Tesla bears the blunt to list things as detail as possible, to protect itself. The buyer doesn’t have to agree with that, and they have the option of NOT buying the Tesla product. However, if in the future Tesla wants to change the condition, the law will most likely NOT rule favorably on Tesla side.

The rate of delivery (or power) was NOT a condition listed in the original contract. The guarantee was on free unlimited use (of the condition on rate of delivery at time of signing, based on common understanding between the 2 parties when signing the contract). As a result, THAT was guaranteed.

And that’s the same basis on why AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile lost their legal cases.

“Congesting the Stalls”

That is precisely why I recommend going to 4 stalls per Charger Bay up from 2, since the ‘hogs’ will, for various reasons, be there longer. and Stalls don’t cost much, nor will the hogs use more than a few percent of peak time charger bay capacity, leaving the vast majority of the juice for the traveling S on vacation, which was the original idea.

Tesla should have looked at other industries that have implemented “unlimited” usage and see how that has eventually not worked out.

The only thing they can do is grandfather the terms for existing tesla cars and limit it for new sales.

Regardless of how moral people think they are, if it says unlimited and free, they will abuse it.

One possible solution would be to keep it free and unlimited, but abusers who charge at a particular supercharger station will only be able to charge up X% of the battery. X is determined by the distance it is required to return to that person’s place of residence plus some % more. This is because abusers are the ones who are living fairly close to the station to get free electricity. This limitation should also reset itself every month.

“if it says unlimited and free, they will abuse it.”

How so that someone will abuse something when it was unlimited and free to begin with?

If you go to the library and check out the top 10 hottest, just released movies, would you have abused the system, and get a warning mail from the library?

If something was established to be free and unlimited, then it is the issue of the rule setter, i.e. Tesla, to be short sighted and not realize the potential problem it may run into when there is a resource constraint down the road. Instead, you blame the people who were told to use the resource as many time as s/he wants, and at whatever time s/he wants.

Oh, 1 last thing – it’s not even free. Tesla’s owners have to pay either the $2000 fee or have that incorporated in the Model S selling price (later) for using the system.

So, no one is abusing anything here.

How Model 3 has to work out: – not contain any cost in the sticker price – offer supercharger access either on a subscription basis or one time vehicle “add-on” of something like $2500 – don’t tie supercharger growth to probable car sales in an area. Because they want people living in that area “not to” use the superchargers. It used to be that they would install superchargers along busy routes (such as NJ Turnpike) to make buying a Tesla more appealing to those who drive through those routes for work or normal travel. Now, they are saying not to use them for normal travel (NYC commuters do drive as much as 150 miles+ each way to the city from far-off suburbs such as Philadelphia and southern NJ or long island). To do that commute in comfort and on electricity, supercharger use is essential and was a reason some bought the car in the first place – to “go electric using the Tesla-supplied superchargers which were said to be good for a lifetime of free charges”. Drop all cars’ price by $2,500 – then offer supercharger access for a $2500 fee. That makes people who want to use superchargers pay-up… Read more »

Actually, what everyone here – thanks to Tesla open stance against it – neglect to mention the most possible solution for this SC problem:

Battery swapping!

In and out in 5 min. All Teslas are (supposedly) equipped with this “feature” already.

Yup, problem solved.

But I guess that when Tesla says “no one wants to do it” then no one REALLY wants to do it.

Unlimited by my reading — means unlimited. The intent at corporate MAY have been an occasional usage, but it wasn’t marketed or sold that way. So Tesla is stuck with an issue now of frequent users who top off because it’s already paid for in the $2000 access fee — there’s no standing.

It’s like AT&T and Verizon with their original unlimited data plans. Tesla is learning from their initial pain and trying to stem the consequences of their offer with this letter which won’t hold water in court.

Is it the ‘right’ thing for owners? perhaps so. A better ‘right’ would be Tesla to buy back the $2000 and put into place a logical use/access plan.

Yes, but it is anyone’s guess if Tesla wants to refund $2000 (or $2500) for those who paid for the option, and then EVERY 85kwh customer would ALSO have to get $2000 back since they might say they only bought the 85 kwh option at that price with the supercharger, and without it, it wasn’t worth it. But you’re right, that would tend to hold Tesla harmless. But then there would be people who would say, “I only bought the car since I could charge up every day as often as I wanted , and where and when I wanted forever – I didn’t like the car otherwise, so if you’re not going to offer the service you agreed to then I don’t want the car and BUY IT BACK FULL PRICE!”. So, I doubt Tesla would do this since it would open them up to MORE litigation. They’ll probably get some already. That’s why I suggested my “Unlimited Supercharger plan”, which throtles heavy users down the more they use it, and provides the extra (cheap) stalls per Charger Bay to accomodate everyone, while still providing substantial juice for the people on vacation, the sc’s original intended use. To me,… Read more »

They could make an *offer* to refund, but with the transaction complete at point of sale with no limitations on use mentioned, Tesla can’t come back after the fact and say “sorry, here’s your money back”. I think any attempt to cut someone off, even with a refund, would open them up to a lawsuit.