Tesla Customer Sues Company For Breaking Free Charging Promise
Oct 14, 2021 · 4 min read
Electric vehicles have been one of the most dominant topics in the automotive world. Their reduced carbon emissions make them a promising mode of transportation for the future, and they are becoming more accessible as more manufacturers are trying their hand at producing electric vehicles, or EVs. The current king of EVs, though, is Tesla.
For consumers, one of the biggest appeals to electric vehicles is the ability to charge their cars instead of refueling. Charging an EV is considerably less expensive than paying for gas.
Tesla makes this even more appealing with their Superchargers, but these do have issues. Autoweek discusses a lawsuit centered around these Superchargers and unexpected costs.
Tesla's Superchargers provide quick power
One of the biggest questions that many have when considering switching to an electric vehicle is where they can recharge.
Gas can be expensive, but gas-powered car drivers have peace of mind knowing that there is almost always a gas station nearby. Even if they do find a charger, how long will it take? Refueling at the gas station is a quick process.
Tesla's network of Superchargers provides Tesla owners with accessible and efficient recharging. There are more than 25,000 Superchargers worldwide, and the United States alone has over 10,000 of these charging stations. Superchargers can give drivers 200 miles of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.
The lawsuit over Supercharger fees
Tesla is being sued in Alameda County, home to a Tesla plant. The plaintiff in the case claims that Tesla is breaking a deal with early adopters of the EVs regarding Supercharger use.
Supercharger stations cost a small fee to use, with the fees varying slightly depending on where the Superchargers are located. However, early adopters who purchased a Tesla from 2012 to 2016 are exempt from the fees.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff has received fees, despite being an early adopter. The fees have come because of a change made by Tesla.
To prevent cars from remaining at the Supercharger stations too long, drivers are charged fees when they do not immediately return to their cars when they finish charging. These fees come way too quickly according to some, and the lawsuit claims that these fees violate the promise of free Supercharger use.
Tesla charging is not always complicated
This lawsuit may lead some to believe that Supercharger use could result in unexpected fees. While the plaintiff in this case may have a valid concern for their specific issue, most fees associated with Superchargers are straightforward.
Even with fees like the one at the center of this lawsuit, recharging an EV is still considerably cheaper than paying for gas at the pump.
Those who are planning to buy a Tesla or who have bought one since the early adopter program ended should still expect charging fees, though. At the moment, Supercharger use does have a cost for newer Tesla owners. This will be something to keep track of as Tesla expands its network of Supercharger stations.
For in-town driving, though, Tesla drivers may not need to use a Supercharger at all. Drivers can have in-home charging stations installed. These recharge EV batteries much slower than Superchargers, but they also do so for an even smaller cost. Those who use in-home chargers will simply see a slight increase in their electric bill for their electric vehicle charging.
This lawsuit shows that there are still questions about changing to an electric vehicle. Drivers may be unaware of charging locations or fees. Thankfully, many of these questions are being resolved, and charging is becoming increasingly accessible.