The Mercury News

You can keep car plugged in, idle at Tesla charging station

- Look for Gary Richards at mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@ bayareanew­

Q I'm probably the squilliont­h person to tell you that Tesla chargers have a limit. … Tesla assesses idle fees if a car is charged and left at a busy location. The idle fee is $.50/minute if the site is at 50% capacity or more, and $1/minute if the site is fully occupied. … By default, the station limits charging to 80% to speed up sessions. Most Teslas charge to 80% in 15-25 minutes. Not many people would sit around without charging. That is considered poor etiquette (and costly). … There have been instances of rude Tesla drivers unplugging when charged without moving their car, and sometimes charger “vigilantes” plugged the car back in to teach the charger miscreant an idlefee lesson.

— Jacqueline Mardell,

Susan Hunts, Rod Whitten, Doug and Imi Blatz, Alan Arndt,

Steve Crawford A I heard from many Tesla owners about what's involved in charging their vehicles. Q I have been reading your column for probably as long as you have been writing it. I finally found a reason to write back. Tesla chargers do not allow you to stay plugged in indefinite­ly. When your car is close to charged, a text tells you that you will reach your charge in 5-10 minutes. You receive another text when the car reaches full charge, warning that you will be charged an idle fee for every minute after 5 minutes.

P.S.: I love your columns and keep a SJ Mercury News subscripti­on, no matter where I live, so I can read them (even when I was in MN and New Zealand)!

— Kimberlie Moutoux

A Thanks, and also, for being a loyal reader.

Q Chargers such as EV, ChargePoin­t, etc., require a credit card or account dongle to activate. Tesla uses the credit card on file for the account associated with the car being charged. The owner just plugs the car in to begin charging. When I use a public charger, it is usually 85% charged in 25-30 minutes and costs about $12-14. — Steve Brock, San Jose AAnd … Q Tesla vehicles can use Electrify America (EA) chargers with the appropriat­e CCS adapter and internal hardware to allow it.

An alternativ­e connector, CHAdeMO, also charges Teslas but it was expensive, slow and is no longer sold by the factory. I have one and use it to charge my Model 3. The ChargePoin­t station near my house is cheaper than if I could charge at home. — Raymond Kawakami, San Jose AAnd … Q I use charging stations on long road trips. With charging apps (Tesla, PlugShare and ChargePoin­t) I can usually find 240-volt charging stations easily. I wish Google maps would add charging stations to their search engine. — Roman Perry A That's today's last word.

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