Supercharger should be pay-per-30min-use

Supercharger should be pay-per-30min-use

Tesla should charge $10 (or a bit less) for each 30 minute plugin. This will eliminate the wait at SC stations ...

So if you plug in and leave for 2 hours, you will be billed $40...

alnrench2 | April 16, 2016

@dachuyn......I'm not advocating this, but instead of placing a cost on charging at a super charger, place a cost on occupying a supercharger once your car has been charged.....wouldn't it make more sense ? Or, make the chord longer and have two parking spots for each charger...when a car has completed its super charge the socket automatically releases, that way someone else can pull in alongside, remove the chord from the fully charged car, and plug in their own. Lots of options for the future....

Bighorn | April 16, 2016

Have you ever supercharged? Because I think given that power is shared unequally and power can flow very slowly at the end of a taper makes this a bad idea.

mbb | April 16, 2016

@Bighorn charging for time has an advantage because it encourages people to charge their car at higher speed and leave whenever the car gets enough charge. Even for the scenario of charging slow down due to sharing neighboring stalls, charge for time encourages people to go at none busy hours unless it's not possible.

Bighorn | April 16, 2016

Except there are plenty of times when long distance traveling that you need a certain higher level of charge to get to the next charger. This may require you to spend over an hour charging--it's not a choice. The people you describe who can unplug sooner are more apt to be locals topping up. Also, being able to choose low volume times doesn't really pertain to a traveler. A traveler who feels compelled to unplug early raises the risk of needing a flat bed. This scheme has zero chance of being implemented.

borodinj | April 16, 2016

Sorry, this would be a bad idea. Tesla is focused on eliminating range anxiety and making supercharging free is a means to that end. Remember, when traveling longer distances where supercharging is required, the time it takes to do so is already longer than a traditional gas fill up. One of the way Tesla compensates for this time is by making it free, and in making it free, it makes the process of having to stop and wait far more palatable. Making it fee-based imposes a significant barrier to electric car adoption, which is contrary to Tesla's mission.

Also, let's not worry about a problem -- congestion -- that does not yet exist. I've had my S for over 3 years, and it's never been an issue. Yes, once the 3 is released, supercharger demand will also be far greater, but Tesla is already anticipating that future demand by expanding existing stations (like DE) and adding more over time.

SCCRENDO | April 16, 2016

Not going to happen. The idea would be that Elon and even other companies continue to expand the supercharging network as rapidly as possible. Hopefully their availability reaches the order of gas stations. Increased Tesla/EV sales should fund these. Hopefully more and more become solar powered. Should remain free for life with cost built into the car purchase or one time add on fee. On the other had people also need to be courteous. If you can charge at home, charge at home and don't become a habitual moocher. Don't overstay your welcome at a charger. Charger and go. Don't take in a movie while your car blocks a supercharger. If people ICE superchargers try get them towed. The Tesla and EV community needs to be a courteous community doing its part to save the environment. We don't need Donald Trump rally fights at superchargers.
@JT. Not sure whether you have it in your FAQs but would be nice to add a section on Supercharger and charger courtesy.

borodinj | April 16, 2016

Also keep in mind that Tesla may be charging 3 owners for supercharging on the front-end (when purchasing the car). They are being careful to note that the 3's will be supercharge-capable, but that doesn't necessarily mean that supercharging will be included without having to pay for it on the front-end. They used to do this will be the S60, and it stands to reason that they may use the same practice with the 3.

mntlvr23 | April 16, 2016

I am a newbie here, and therefore am speaking from very limited experience. I was out for dinner and drinks with friends the other night, and as we left some 3+ hours later, I realized that one of may friends had been parked the full time in the single neighborhood plug-in parking space (for his plug-in hybrid). It got me thinking about this adventure that I am about to take with Tesla - and curious about the general availability at the stations.

Perhaps as this was not a Tesla "Supercharger", charging may take several hours and people are expected to be in spots indefinitely - and I imagine that the experience at a Supercharger will be much different.

My question is: In addition to using Superchargers and personal home chargers - What are people's experiences using other public (or private) stations? Does anyone participate in "Residential PlugShare" - charging at other people's homes (or offering your home) when in a pinch?

I hope that my typical short (under 150 mi/day) drives and general energy planning will be good enough to avoid ever needing a flat bed - but it would be nice to know what options there are if desperation sets in while out on the road.


SCCRENDO | April 16, 2016

@mntlvr23. It varies depending on where you are. In the Los Angeles area there are hundreds. Now while one location could be full there are bound to be others available. I have a Chademo as an additional option and have used it about 5 times in over a year of ownership. On the road there are RV parks as emergency backup. Having travelled in areas with less EV adoption such as Knoxville Tennessee there are far less chargers but seems to be far less occupancy.

borodinj | April 16, 2016

If you are driving under 150 miles per day, then you simply charge at home overnight. Driving more than 200 miles? That's where supercharging comes in. Again, I've had an S for over 3 years, and I really only supercharge when I'm driving over 200 miles in a day. Less than that, I don't need to supercharge, so I don't.

mbb | April 16, 2016

@Bighorn I am not advocating free supercharger or not. If Tesla wants to use price as a mechanism to optimize their supercharger usage, charge for time at stall is the right way to go. Economically speaking, you want to charge the factor that you want to optimize which is wait time. That is the same as making the supercharge time faster and spread out the load. Long distance travel time is inflexible but date maybe. Local charging time is very flexible, as they can charge at middle of the night when nobody is there. So in a sense long distance and local supercharging is complimentary if pricing scheme is implemented in the right way.

Chunky Jr. | April 16, 2016

@borodinj +1

Supercharging will always be free. Tesla has placed this stake in the ground and is not pulling it up. Charging for time is basically the same thing and is not going to happen.

They are planning a massive build out of the SC network over the next couple years, so Tesla is addressing the issue.

If there are millions of Model 3s out there, and the SC network is bursting at the seams, private SC stations could start popping up to relieve the strain. You can wait for a free SC slot supplied by Tesla, or you can pay for immediate access to one at a private station.

Tstolz | April 16, 2016

Guys ... Superchargers have never been free. Only the payment model is being questioned. Is it better for Tesla to charge $2,500 up front for 'lifetime' charging or to charge customers another way ... like by the minute.

The current one-payment option may not be viable in the long run because there is no incentive to move your car. Imagine a gas station that allows free parking in front of their pumps! No ... the Supercharger model has to change. Pay by the minute packages would be easy to implement and would encourage people to move their cars when done, and charge from destination and home when they can. This will happen! This has to happen!

BTW - last night I got ICED at a hotel. Parking in EV stalls everywhere IMHO should be for a fee. Parking with access to power is one rate, parking without another rate. Rate depends on power of the service ... not the amount your car used. Cost is mostly the infrastructure and the service size.

jamilworm | April 16, 2016

I read in another thread that the cost to process all those payment transactions for each supercharge would offset any profit they'd make by charging. Granted, I understand you are not advocating charging for the purpose of making profit, but rather charging for the purpose of limiting use. However I agree with borodinj that if people are paying for every fill up then they will be less accepting of the charge time increase over gas fill ups.

On the other hand, I don't want to pay upfront for a lifetime SC membership. I might only use my M3 for 3 long distance trips over the entire life of the car. And that is expensive charging. Especially people who are current owners of a model S, why on earth would they decide to take their road trip in the smaller 3?

For those reasons I think a good compromise is to offer temporary weekly or maybe monthly subscriptions. So if you are going on a road trip you could just sign up for a month of service for, say, $150.

jamilworm | April 16, 2016

And I just realized when re-reading my post that it is confusing talking about charging (money) and charging (electricity) in the same sentence.

elephant in a bottle | April 16, 2016

Tesla would lose more money if their cars run out of juice . Towing costs and customer dissatisfaction are premium dollars.

Keep it simple, put the SC cost into the price of the car. Make money on the opportunity that people need to wait at least 30 mins for a top off.

lph | April 16, 2016

I don't like paying time based on the charger, because it does not account for the variable nature of the energy flow. That concept is nuts IMO.

I would prefer a one time up front fee at car purchase time for SC usage (like the MS and X) and the ability for a person to subscribe if they got a second hand Tesla car that did not pay for this service when new.

Those that want to pay as you go (or god forbid another car brand becomes accepted under the SC network), we could have a pay as you go system too. Again based on energy used not time on the SC.

In any case, to help eliminate SC hogs, anyone who stays on for more than a couple of minutes beyond the time the car is full, and all the superchargers are taken, then he / she should be charged heavily at something like a dollar or more a minute.
It is all in the software.

jordanrichard | April 16, 2016

OP, do you own a Tesla and used a supercharger. If you have no skin in the game, never used that which you are speaking of, then perhaps you should reserve your idea for when you do use one. | April 16, 2016


Trust me, "speaking from very limited experience" never stops anyone around here, especially when it comes to fixing Supercharging - jump on in! :)

mntlvr23 | April 16, 2016

@omar - lol

Haggy | April 16, 2016

If you calculate how much electricity is being used in half an hour, it's nowhere near $10 worth. Chances are the PUC in most states would declare that illegal and say that Tesla is acting as a public utility by charging for nothing but power itself, and isn't using state mandated rates. The amount of work Tesla would have to go through to conform to regulations in each state, the paperwork, the process of billing, and everything related to it would likely cost Tesla more than any profit they could make with that model. It might be cheaper to give it away.

Plus, Elon has said all along that he'd never go for a pay per use model.

TaoJones | April 16, 2016

It is evident with the influx of new "soon" to be owners that this topic is just not going to go away. It would be useful if whatever passes for moderation of this forum would create a sticky at the top with some version of these simple truths:

1. Senior management three different ways has recently or relatively recently endorsed supercharging *without pay-per-use madness* as sustainable up to and perhaps exceeding 1,000,000 cars.

2. Tesla has committed to DENSITY as well as to DISTANCE for almost 2 years now (since late 2014) with regard to supercharging.

3. Supercharger costs are covered from an accounting perspective from two distinctly different buckets - cost of sales, and sales/marketing expense. The differentiation is whether an SC is needed to get somewhere versus whether it is needed to diffuse saturation of resources.

Or, you could just read the last paragraph of this:

Tstolz | April 16, 2016

No need to do pay per use ... just track minutes of use and charge once for a block of minutes. The value of Superchargers isn't the number of electrons .. it is the rate of putting electrons into the battery pack ... it is the speed that we are really paying for. All Tesla needs to do is offer the block of minutes at a high enough rate so that charging from home is cheaper .. and charge enough that people use the stalls for charging .. not parking. Tesla needs to charge for access to the network not for electrons.

SamO | April 16, 2016


Preach it brother.

Red Sage ca us | April 16, 2016

Hmmm... What goes around, comes around...

400,000 x $35,000 = $14,000,000,000

$14,000,000,000 x 0.12 = $1,680,000,000

$1,680,000,000 x 0.115 = $193,200,000

$193,200,000 / $400,000 = 483


400,000 x $500 = $200,000,000

$200,000,000 / $400,000 = 500


Basically, the money raised from the sale of 400,000 Model ☰ is enough to build in the neighborhood of 483-to-500 Supercharger locations of 8-stalls each.

eandmjep | April 16, 2016

I have seen pictures of fully loaded super charging stations. You cant tell me that there are that may cross country drivers with a Model S right now. Currently there is one about 20 miles from where I live. I highly doubt I would ever need to use it. Sorry but "honey so and so called and we have to drive 600 miles right now and the car is only a t 40%." 1000 times more likely to need a spare tire. haha That is why I want one with the Top battery size 280-300 miles of range and I would only use a supercharger when on Vacation. That would be perfect.

dachuyn | April 17, 2016

@Tstolz ... Pre-paid "block of minutes" of plugin time scheme sounds great too.

People may cancel M3 reservations if access to SC becomes problematic (e.g. long wait time or unclear wait lines) ... Believe me, there would be abusers (or even bullies) at SC stations if it is allowed ...

PBEndo | April 17, 2016

Tesla's head-start on the charging network is one of the most significant factors in ensuring they survive in this industry. Anything they can do to continue to stay ahead of the "big guys" is money well spent. Personally, I feel they should build the cost of charger access into the price of the ≡. Though a few owners might prefer to save some money up front by not enabling supercharging, most would prefer to have it enabled. Even those that don't use supercharging benefit from the build-out of the network since it increases the resale value of their car.
Personally, I'd like to see every Model ≡ supercharger enabled, with the cost built-in to the price of the car since that would fund the SC expansion.

PBEndo | April 17, 2016

built into

Red Sage ca us | April 17, 2016

PBEndo: +42! Exactly. The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything about "What is the Benefit for Free for Everyone?"

Chunky Jr. | April 17, 2016

I think a lot of people still think of EV charging as being like going to a gas station, but having to wait an hour or more instead of a quick fill up. They don't get that you can charge at home every night. As the Model 3 user base grows, more and more people will realize how awesome it is to be able to charge at home, and then value the supercharging network for trips.

Model 3 will take EV charging from being an abstract concept with a lot of FUD to one that is directly relatable because your friend or neighbor does it. As the FUD clears around charging, that will drive even more demand for EVs.

Red Sage ca us | April 17, 2016

Chunky Jr.: +42! Precisely. The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything about "Why Will Model ☰ Owners Be So Happy to Charge at Home?"

Haggy | April 17, 2016

Although charging money for electricity can turn into a quagmire riddled with regulations, Tesla might consider charging for parking, with initial parking being free, up to 15 minutes past the time that charging is finished. After that rates could grow, with the first 30 minutes being moderately more than local on street parking prices, and subsequent time being a reasonable percentage above the most expensive private parking lots in the state.

KP in NPT | April 17, 2016

Lets come up with more complicated and annoying ways to charge for supercharging...there aren't enough already.

Chunky Jr. | April 17, 2016

In the future, when a car finishes supercharging, the cable will automatically unplug, and your car will self drive to a parking spot where you can pick it up..

Watt fun | April 17, 2016

Chunky Jr +1,000!

NKYTA | April 17, 2016

+1 PBEndo

Bighorn | April 17, 2016

Suppose the Model 3 costs $34k to build. Some economies are not sustainable. Included supercharging is a nice gesture, but without knowing the financial constraints, we have no clue if it's even possible. Elon has been hamstrung by the $35k promise. Many thought the $35k would be after the tax credit was factored in, so it's slightly shocking that he came in at 35 pre-credit. Remember back to the Model S which had the same sort of hoop to jump through--a promise of under $50k. That was the S40 at 49,999--it was never viable. Let's not give away the farm without knowing the ramifications.

SCCRENDO | April 17, 2016

@Bighorn is correct. It's likely the $35K car will be totally bare bones.

Red Sage ca us | April 17, 2016

Bighorn: Suppose the base Model ☰ costs $29,750 to build. Now, take a deep breath... Let it out slowly... Feel better? Good.

If I remember correctly, the very first time that Elon Musk gave the $35,000 amount for Generation III, the very next question was whether or not that was including a Federal Tax Credit. He replied immediately, then, and every time since, "No. That's without any credits. I wouldn't advise anyone expect them to be available."

Sure, there were a lot of folks that didn't believe him. But those guys never believe him anyway. That's why some guy wrote an article a year-and-a-half later saying the car would be $40,000 to start. Of course, I think he worked for the Los Angeles Times...

steven | April 17, 2016

Darn it Chunky... I read through all these comments wondering why nobody came up with what was obvious to me. I get right near the end, and there you wrote it:

"In the future, when a car finishes supercharging, the cable will automatically unplug, and your car will self drive to a parking spot where you can pick it up.."

That's exactly what I was thinking. These cars already have the capability to do it (hardware) so yeah, when its done charging, it just goes over to the "finished" area (where it gets a complimentary automatic car wash and interior detail. Why not... I can dream).

I personally have never once seen ANY of the charger stalls in my town used :) So I'm not too worried about it (seriously. Not once. They built it, and nobody comes)

kristiannobs | April 18, 2016

Agree with Chunky Jr.

And i am really opposed to it being paid pr. use.

Automatic disconnect and park is by far the best solution to congestion.
All tho I don't think this will be a big issue in the nearest future.

liftsrock | April 18, 2016

It would seem like simple software design for Tesla to receive alerts when cars sit at Supercharge stations longer than necessary when charging is complete and send the owner a message that this behavior is not acceptable and that repeats could trigger costs for future recharges.

jordanrichard | April 18, 2016

We already get alerts saying the car is done charging. When using the nav system, you also get notifications that charging is almost complete. Also, it is not an issue if you car is plugged in, fully charged if you are one of 4 people at a 8 stall charging site. The only issue is if someone pulls up and there are no stalls available.

As for the car parking itself after charging. Let's say they just for the sake of discussion, they go to the huge expense of retrofitting the existing stalls with "the sake". Everything people are saying is technically possible, except 1 problem, how does the car know where to park/where to go?

Chunky Jr. | April 18, 2016

@ jordanrichard : "how does the car know where to park/where to go?"

it's the future! they'll figure it out by then! :-)

Haggy | April 18, 2016

I'm pretty sure Elon hired somebody who is good at math to add up the numbers and see if $35K is profitable. At this point, he must have a good idea what materials would cost for what he put together and I'm sure he did some negotiation with suppliers. He might be in a position to renegotiate now that the volume will be much higher. He should also have a good idea what infrastructure is needed to build a car like that. If $35K didn't seem profitable, then he wouldn't have shown the car.

Red Sage ca us | April 18, 2016

Haggy: Plus a Whole BUNCH! Precisely what I believe, word for word.

Chunky Jr. | April 18, 2016

@Haggy : +1.

They would not have said $35K if they did not think they could hit that. It is likely that the margins will be very low at first and quickly increase over time as they optimize the assembly line and increase volume to get better deals from vendors.

Red Sage ca us | April 18, 2016

In September 2012 Bob Lutz submitted an article to Forbes magazine in defense of the Chevrolet VOLT. It is good reading. It does a good job of explaining exactly what it is that journalists tend to get wrong when declaring that a new vehicle series is 'not profitable'. Oh, wait... The same way they do for Tesla Model S, Model X, and before too long, Model ☰ as well:

Forbes -- The Real Story On GM's Volt Costs


Link not allowed, thanks to Mollom. Again.


Red Sage ca us | April 18, 2016

"The statement that GM 'loses' over $40K per Volt is preposterous. What the 'analyst' in whom poor Ben Klayman placed his faith has done is to divide the total development cost and plant investment by the number of Volts produced thus far. That’s like saying that a real estate company that puts up a $10 million building and has rental income of one million the first year is 'losing' 9 million dollars, or several hundred thousand per renter." -- Bob Lutz

Strange that Mr. Lutz can't seem to understand the same attitude when it is directed toward Tesla Motors instead.