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Tesla starts fining people who abuse Supercharger stations

A promotional photo of a Tesla Supercharger station.

Carmaker Tesla today said it will start making people pay money when they don’t pick up their Tesla vehicles from Supercharger charging stations after the vehicles have been fully charged.

The idea is this will mean when Tesla owners enter a Supercharger site, an empty charger will be ready and waiting for them to pull up and start charging.

The Tesla app already provides a notification when a car is almost completely charged and then when it is actually fully charged, Tesla said in a blog post.

“For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee,” Tesla said. “If the car is moved within 5 minutes, the fee is waived.”

People will have to pay the “idle fees” the next time they visit one of Tesla’s Service Centers. There’s no upper limit to the charges, so if you leave your Tesla Model X there for a day, well, expect to pay $576. One week? You pay $4,032. You get the idea. (The fee varies by country.)

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk did say earlier this month that the company would “take action” in response to the so-called Supercharger abuse.

Now Musk can say he’s kept that promise.

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