Photo: Justin Sullivan / Staff (Getty Images)
Charging times for electric vehicles have come down significantly over the years. But even so, it can still take a while for the charger to add the range you need to your next destination. If you’re in a hurry to get some food or go shopping, you might accidentally forget to plug your car in, causing a huge delay once you realize that and finally get it on the charger. But the good news is, a few Tesla owners on Twitter have figured out that it’s possible to help these forgetful folks who had a minor lapse in memory.
As Teslarati reports, a button on the charger can open the charge port door on the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y even if the car is locked. That means that if you happen to notice someone parked their Tesla in a Supercharger spot but didn’t remember to plug it in, you can help them out! All you’ve gotta do is plug it in for them, and when they get back, their car will be happily charging away.
The bad news for these forgetful owners is that once their car is fully charged, Tesla may start to charge an idle fee. If a station is half-full, that fee is $0.50 a minute. But if all the chargers at that particular station are full, the idle fee increases to $1.00 a minute. Over time, that could add up.
Tesla clearly had forgetful owners in mind when it developed the Tesla app, though, because it notifies owners when their car is close to fully charged and also sends them another notification when it reaches a 100 percent charge, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem. And if the car is moved in five minutes or less, the fee is waived, so they don’t have to come back immediately. Just pretty quickly.
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That said, in the unthinkable scenario where someone treated the Supercharger as a reserved parking spot for all Teslas, went into a movie, and turned their phone off, they might come back to find they’ve racked up more than $100 in idle fees on top of what it cost to charge their car. But obviously, no one would actually do that, right?
Taking up a charging space with no intention of using it to charge would be so obnoxiously rude, it’s hard to imagine anyone would even think about it, much less actually go through with it. Were a person to be so rude, though, maybe finding themselves stuck with a massive idle fee could discourage them from trying it again in the future. We call that a win-win.