Tesla Supercharger Fair use policy?

Tesla Supercharger Fair use policy?

I got my Tesla Model X last week and loving it! I also got a referral so have Unlimited Supercharging but I wanted to find out if there is any 'fair use' policy or if it's truly unlimited?

I've tried searching the net but I keep coming back to articles about the fair use policy implemented in Dec 17 to limit commercial users. I don't use the car for business purposes (except for my 30 mile commute weekly). I drove down to Devon when I got the car and used the Supercharger network, all in all I used 245 kw and was wondering if there is a threshold after which Tesla will restrict the charge or warn I'm overusing it etc?

Apologies if this was already discussed elsewhere!

EVRider | April 3, 2018

Tesla doesn’t currently do anything to limit your supercharger usage, but you’re supposed to limit supercharger usage to road trips and other situations where you don’t have other options. For example, if you live or work near a supercharger but have the ability to charge at home, you shouldn’t use the supercharger just to avoid paying for electricity at home.

jordanrichard | April 3, 2018

alamrahman87, first, congrats on joining the future.

Second, Yes the supercharger usage is indeed free and unlimited, but as EVRider mentioned, ideally one only uses the supercharger when on road trips. With that said, it's fine to use the supercharger when you may not absolutely need it, just so as long as you are not taking up the last charging stall. In other words, you don't want to take up the last stall and then another Tesla pulls up and is indeed in need of the charger to get home/continue their trip. The intent of the supercharger network is to enable people to travel long distances. So just don't be the one to impede that.

SamO | April 3, 2018


Do you even have home charging? If not, feel free to use all of the charging offered by Tesla including Supercharging and Destination Charging.

There's a lightning bolt on the main screen and when you touch it, it reveals Destinations (hotels, wineries, ski resorts etc) with "overnight charging" meaning 8 hours for a full fill-up.

If you have home charging, you'll likely find it much more convenient than Supercharging. I know because I used to have to use Supercharging in the early days of ownership. Now, I'm set at home and only use Superchargers on an "as needed" basis.

But there are no limits to using the Superchargers instead of home charging, except for commercial use.


alamrahman87 | April 3, 2018

Thanks for all the responses!! I do have a home charger and intend to use that 90% of the time, was wondering about the Supercharger more because I used 245 kw in just 1 trip so could end up thousands of kw in a year of driving on longer trips.

I'm coming from a Renault Zoe and 245 kw is a crazy amount of energy! Don't think there's enough time in weekend trip to deplete and charge to use 245 kw lol

Speaking of Zoe, I totally agree with the self imposed fair usage, it's extremely frustrating when other EV users use charging bays as car parking spots. In the UK the alternative option for long trip charge, Ecotricity, only has space for 2 or 4 cars at best at a much slower charge. Long trip is usually made much longer if you have to wait for inconsiderate drivers who stay beyond their need.

SamO | April 3, 2018

245kWh should take you about 800 miles in a Model S . . . is that how long your weekend trip was?

SUN 2 DRV | April 3, 2018

SamO +1 for interjecting kWh as the proper units for energy.

OP: You're entitled to an unlimited number of kWh, but Tesla does want to encourage courtesy and optimize availability to a maximum number of drivers.

So it's recommended that if you're just casually using a supercharger to not take the last stall and to also move out as soon as practical if you see someone else waiting. To further encourage this Tesla starts charging a per minute parking fee once your charge session is complete if the SC location is 50% occupied.

But you're free to take as many kWh as you'd like, just do it quickly and courteously.

joemar10 | April 3, 2018

I've been looking for a place to post this question without starting a new string. This one looks as good as any.

Maybe one of you electrical engineers can answer it for me.

How feasible would it be for Tesla to make an adapter to go on the end of the cable which is included with the car, that would attach to the plug on a supercharger?

The purpose would be to be able to reach an ICE'd charging station. I know the plug would have to limit current to what the cable can handle, but it would be better than nothing.

I guess I have a second question. Would any of you buy one if it were available? I'm not talkin an aftermarket company but something Tesla would sell.

EVRider | April 3, 2018

@joemar10: It seems unlikely Tesla or anyone else would offer an extension cable for superchargers, especially since the use case is pretty limited. The supercharger cables are pretty short, sometimes annoyingly so, and I assume there’s a good reason why they aren’t longer.

Consider also that if you’re trying to charge using an ICEd supercharger, you’re probably not in an actual parking space, so you may be inconveniencing someone else.

jordanrichard | April 4, 2018

joemar, I highly suspect that the UMC that comes with the car can not handle the amperage that come from the supercharger. So the "adapter", in this case would have to be a stepdown transformer, which BTW is what all chargers that you plug into a wall, are. So this "adapter" would get extremely hot and I am guessing it would need to be really large and heavy. I believe the UMC cable can only handle 80 amps such as it does using the Tesla HPWC.

EVRider | April 4, 2018

@jordanrichard: I thought the UMC was rated for something like 48 amps. You don’t use the UMC with the Tesla HPWC.

DTsea | April 4, 2018

I think joemars point was to have an adaptor to plug a j1772 level 2 charger into the input end of the mobile connector to use it as an extension.

Rocky_H | April 4, 2018

Not quite. joemar was talking about attaching an extension to a Supercharger cable. That's just not going to happen.

jordanrichard | April 4, 2018

EVRider, I understand that one doesn't use the UMC with the HPWC, but the cable size is the same. Compare that with how thick the cable is at a supercharger.

Also, you have to keep in mind that there was a time that one could order a second onboard charger for the MS which when paired with the HPWC would get you about 60 MRH, at 80 amps. Also, and I may be wrong here, but I believe even today, one can get an optional 78 amp onboard charger for their MS/MX, which like the previous dual charger option, would get you faster charging than the now stock 48 amp charger.

Tropopause | April 4, 2018

That's like using a straw on a gasoline hose.

EVRider | April 4, 2018

@jordanrichard: Thickness aside, I don't think the UMC is rated at more than 48 amps (if that). The only way to get the higher amperage that the dual chargers/higher amperage charger enable is to use the Tesla HPWC.

EVRider | April 4, 2018

Just found the documentation I was looking for: the Gen 1 UMC is rated for 40 amps, the Gen 2 UMC is 32 amps. See the bottom of this page:

ride525 | April 4, 2018

Dublin CA Tesla Supercharger has a sign that says charaging is limited to one hour. Don't know if, or how, it's enforced.

Tropopause | April 4, 2018

One hour is a long time.

ride525 | April 4, 2018

I have a Model X 75D and it could easily take over an hour to go from empty to full charge. Today was about 25% to 90% in 50 minutes.

EVRider | April 5, 2018

@ride525: Yes, it can take over an hour to charge from empty to full, but that’s rarely necessary. You typically arrive at a supercharger with some remaining range, and only charge as much as you need to reach the next charging stop with an adequate buffer.

SUN 2 DRV | April 5, 2018

"Dublin CA Tesla Supercharger has a sign that says charaging is limited to one hour. Don't know if, or how, it's enforced."

Last time I was there they had a parking attendant.

jerryk | April 5, 2018

Dublin is my local SC. During the day they have a valet that moves cars when they are full or after an hour if there is someone needing a charge.

alamrahman87 | April 6, 2018

I visited the Canary Wharf Supercharger (London, UK) and they had a 1 hour policy to use the Supercharger. I asked the showroom how this is enforced but they didn't know the answer, the started off telling me about the idle fees but at the I was the only car there out of 4 spots.

I parked for 1 hour and 10 minutes just to see what happens, I'll update here if I get some kind of a bill from Tesla.

jordanrichard | April 6, 2018

People need to realize that these time limit signs are a toothless scare tactic.

docdac | April 7, 2018

BTW, a step down transformer (mentioned previously) would only work on an AC circuit and would not be a solution for altering the voltage or current of a DC supply, like a supercharger.

jerryk | April 7, 2018

@jordanrichard. I think that depends. At the SCs with valets they have your keys, so they can move your car.

jordanrichard | April 8, 2018

Ok. SC valets is purely a CA thing. For the rest of the world, we just have signs and self policing.

BenDToy | April 13, 2018

Today I found 2 charges for idle time on my account. These have prevously been threatened but they have actually appeared. Incidences on 30 March and 12 April.

Yodrak. | April 13, 2018

Abuser! If you were a member of Congress you should be forced to resign. | April 14, 2018

@alamrahman - Congrats on your new X!

In some locations ICE cars are allowed to park in the Supercharger stall, usually with a time limit like 30 minutes. This is done when the city requires X parking spots at a location. The addition of exclusive Supercharger stalls would reduce the total allowable public parking spots, so they have to allow ICE cars. Luckily this is fairly rare.

There is a lot to learn about Superchargers - I created this extensive guide on how to get the fastest charge, selecting a stall, and much more with lots of photos: | April 15, 2018