Some owners of electric cars have made it a habit to use charging stations as parking spots well after their charge is complete, and other electric car drivers are getting sick of it.
One took the problem straight to Tesla CEO Elon Musk last week when he tweeted to him, “The San Mateo supercharger is always full with idiots who leave their tesla for hours even if already charged.” Within minutes, Musk replied: “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.” Six days later he did, and while some are debating the merits of his solution, others are applauding his fast response, as strategy consultant Richard Jhang did when he wrote on LinkedIn: “Idea to execution in 6 days. Copy that.” To remedy the problem, the company is “introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability,” per a Tesla blog post.
“For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee.” If the car is moved within five minutes, the fee is waived.
(An app alerts Tesla owners when the charge is nearly complete.) Inc.com calls it exemplary customer service, while Loic Le Meur, the man whose tweet got the ball rolling, writes on Medium that it was Musk’s personal response that won him over.
“That is one of the reasons he is so successful,” he writes. “He manages a 30,000 employee public company like an agile startup.”