Tesla Taxi Driver Granted Unlimited Supercharger Use After Court Steps In
Tesla Superchargers will be used by this taxi driver for free.
Several years ago, when Tesla was introducing the Model S and the Supercharging network, the automaker promised that all cars are granted unlimited charging for free forever. The intention was to offer free unlimited charging for long-distance travel, but as some were using chargers to save on electricity (daily charging or commercial car use) and the stations became crowded, the policy changed – for new cars Tesla offers Supercharging for a fee (also idling isn’t free).
In the Netherlands, one of the customers bought a Tesla Model S in 2014 with the idea to use it as a taxi at Schiphol airport and to charge at a local Supercharger. Because the station wasn’t able to serve all cars, Tesla decided to cut off cars used as taxis from free charging during peak hours. The case landed in court, where a civil service judge from the Court of Amsterdam ruled in favor of a claimant who filed suit against Tesla.
“Car manufacturer Tesla must allow a taxi driver unlimited and free of charge to use his super-fast charging stations, also at the Amsterdam Zuidoost location,” – court statement
It’s an important lesson to clearly communicate intentions and if Supercharging is going to be free only for private use it needs to be described up front. Does this mean that all taxi drivers can use Superchargers? We are not sure. But provided they bought car with unlimited Supercharging, there now seems to be a landmark case in favor.
Here is the most important part of the court info, brought to us by Teslarati:
As read in the court statement:
In an e-mail dated 11 January 2018, Tesla informed a number of taxi drivers, including [the plaintiff], among other things:
” Increasingly, we are seeing a commercial use of the Supercharger (one of the charging stations for the Tesla, where electricity can be charged at high speed, viz.) In Amsterdam Zuidoost. This Supercharger is located at the same location as Tesla’s headquarters for Europe, also service center as well as sales location. This increasingly leads to queues for the Supercharger during peak hours and an unclear, and sometimes even dangerous (traffic) situation, for customers, employees, suppliers and other visitors. In view of (traffic) safety at this location, we reserve the right to change the access for taxis to this Supercharger in Amsterdam-Zuidoost after 31 January 2018, especially during peak hours, from 7:00 to 22 :00h, to limit. “
On the same day, [the plaintiff] protested against it by e-mail. This e-mail states, among other things:
” At the time of the conclusion of our (purchase) agreement, it was expressly agreed at the time that I would be allowed to use all supercharges from Tesla in the world free of charge and without any restrictions. At the time of the conclusion of our agreement, it was entirely clear to Tesla that the vehicle purchased by me would be used as a taxi .”