Tesla Superchargers are a network of high-speed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations developed by Tesla, Inc. They are literally made to enable long-distance travel for Tesla owners by providing fast charging capabilities.

, Keeping it Flowing: Tesla Supercharger Etiquette and Idle Fees, Days of a Domestic Dad

These Superchargers can replenish a significant portion of a Tesla vehicle’s battery in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours required by standard home chargers. This is convenient for drivers having long drives because they can access and charge easily at a charging station without a problem.

Supercharger etiquette refers to the unwritten rules and best practices that drivers are encouraged to follow when using these charging stations. Having proper etiquette is also essential for everyone on the road. Key aspects of this etiquette include promptly moving the vehicle once it has finished charging to free up space for other drivers, avoiding unnecessary idling, and only using Tesla superchargers when necessary rather than for regular, daily charging.

To enforce proper usage and maximise availability, Tesla has implemented idle fees. These fees are charged to drivers who leave their vehicles parked at a Supercharger station after charging is complete. The idle fee system is created to discourage drivers from occupying charging spots longer than necessary, thereby improving the turnover rate and availability of Superchargers for other Tesla owners.

Supercharger Etiquette

Tesla charging station

Be mindful of others.

One of the principles of Supercharger etiquette is the importance of moving your car once it is fully charged. This practice is crucial because Supercharger stations, while extensive, have a limited number of charging stalls. By promptly vacating a stall after your vehicle is charged, you free up space for other Tesla drivers who may be waiting to charge their cars.

When drivers observe charging courtesy by promptly moving their cars once charged, it creates a more cooperative and respectful environment.

Plan your trip

Using the Tesla app to plan charging stops and estimate charging times is essential for an efficient and hassle-free journey. The app has real-time information on where the Supercharger stations are, allowing drivers to plan their stops and where they should charge next, giving them a smooth travel experience and reducing the waiting time because of the long lines.

Park strategically

Parking etiquette at Tesla Supercharger stations is essential in ensuring the efficient use of the facilities. Proper parking can maximise the number of vehicles that can be charged simultaneously, minimising wait times and improving the overall experience for all drivers.

One key tip is to park next to another car that is already charging. Tesla Superchargers often share power between pairs of stalls. By parking next to a vehicle that is already charging, you help balance the load and optimise the charging speed for both cars.

Understanding Idle Fees

EV charging at a charging station

What are Idle Fees?

Idle fees are charges imposed by Tesla on drivers who leave their vehicles parked at a Supercharger station after the car has reached a full charge. These fees are designed to encourage drivers to promptly move their vehicles once charging is complete, thereby freeing up the charging stall for other users.

Idle fees are applied once the vehicle’s battery is fully charged. To ensure fairness and provide drivers with a reasonable amount of time to relocate their cars, Tesla offers a grace period—typically five minutes—after charging is complete. During this grace period, drivers can move their cars without incurring any fees. If the vehicle remains parked beyond this grace period, idle fees begin to accumulate, increasing the cost for the driver.

Why do Idle Fees Exist?

The primary purpose of idle fees is to discourage drivers from hogging Supercharger stalls and to improve the availability of these stations for other Tesla users. When a vehicle remains parked in a charging stall after it has completed charging, it prevents other drivers from accessing the charger, leading to increased wait times and inefficiencies. By imposing idle fees, Tesla incentivises drivers to promptly move their vehicles once charging is finished, thereby maximising the utility of each Supercharger stall.

Additionally, Tesla has introduced the concept of congestion fees at particularly busy Supercharger stations. Congestion fees are higher rates applied during peak times to encourage the efficient use of charging resources further. These fees aim to reduce overuse and ensure that Supercharger stations remain accessible to the greatest number of drivers, especially in high-demand areas.


Having to follow some rules and avoiding idle fees are important to keep a convenient and efficient way of having access to the charging stations. Being polite and following the guidelines at each station will make your travel experience easier for everyone.

, Keeping it Flowing: Tesla Supercharger Etiquette and Idle Fees, Days of a Domestic Dad