Tesla idle fees and how you avoid them

Tesla idle fees and how you avoid them

The ever-growing popularity of electric vehicles brings new challenges and systems that are significant for Tesla drivers. One such system that requires special attention is the idle fees charged when charging at the Supercharger.

In this article, you will learn everything important about idle fees: What they are, why they exist, when they apply, and how you can avoid them.

What are idle fees?

Tesla's idle fees are charged when you occupy a Supercharger even though your car is already fully charged. The goal is clear: to increase the availability of charging stations and motivate you as a driver to quickly free up your space at the Supercharger for others.

Why are there idle fees?

The Tesla Supercharger network is specifically designed to provide powerful charges for swift long-distance travel. It is therefore understandable that frustrations can arise when one encounters a Supercharger blocked by already fully charged vehicles. The idle fees are intended to ensure swift use for all Tesla drivers (and now also other electric cars) and to increase the availability of charging stations.

When do idle fees apply?

The fee becomes payable as soon as your Tesla is fully charged and you do not remove your vehicle from the charging station within a certain period of time. It is important to pay attention to the notifications that you receive on your smartphone or the display of your vehicle. The Tesla app is your best friend in this case, as it informs you when the charging process is almost complete and reminds you again once your car is fully charged.

Note: The idle fee at the Tesla Supercharger only applies if the Supercharger is at least 50% occupied.

How much is the Tesla idle fee?

The amount of the idle fee varies depending on the occupancy of the Tesla Supercharger and the location. If the occupancy is below 50%, you pay nothing. In Germany, you pay 50 cents per minute from an occupancy of 50% at the Supercharger and even €1 per minute at 100% occupancy. You can find more details about the fees in other countries on the Tesla Homepage.

Are there idle fees with other providers?

Yes, the principle of idle fees is not unique to Tesla. Other providers of charging stations have introduced similar systems. However, the terms and fees may vary, so it is best to inform yourself in advance.

Please note the following in particular: Most 11kW charging stations have maximum charging times of 4 hours. These also apply overnight. So if you plug in at such a charging station in the evening, you unfortunately have to reckon with these idle fees. We really hope that there will be adjustments in the industry so that at least no fees are charged at night.


Tesla idle fees might sound bad at first, but in our 3 years as Tesla drivers, we have never paid any. The fees tend to affect those Tesla drivers who are inconsiderate of others, and are therefore good for everyone who would like to charge at the Supercharger. So don’t worry about this topic, as it will most likely never affect you.

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