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Tesla introduces big changes to its Supercharging policies

People using Teslas for commercial purposes are stuck in the charging slow lane from here on out.

Tesla Supercharger
Tesla vehicles plugged in and charging at a Supercharger rapid battery charging station for the electric vehicle company Tesla Motors, in the Silicon Valley town of Mountain View, California, August 24, 2016.
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If you're planning on buying and using a Tesla for ride-hailing or deliveries, you can kiss Supercharging goodbye.

Tesla has introduced what it's calling the "Supercharger Fair-Use Policy," which will prohibit anyone who's driving a Tesla for commercial purposes -- ranging from ride-hailing and delivery services to business and government uses -- from making use of its Supercharger high-speed charging network.

Tesla claims it will take action against those who shirk the new policy, including but not limited to "limiting or blocking your vehicle's ability to use Supercharger stations." Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding how this policy will be policed.

Supercharger abuse is real, and it sucks when you really need some juice and every stall is taken by some jerk.

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This announcement comes as no surprise after multiple reports of Tesla taxi fleets and services like Tesloop abusing the previous open Supercharging policy by leaving vehicles at chargers for extended periods of time, including overnight. Tesla had previously hoped to combat this by all but ending the unlimited free Supercharging and by later introducing an "idle fee" for vehicles left at chargers when they had finished topping off.

The good news for current commercial-use Tesla owners is that they won't be affected by the policy change, just purchasers of new vehicles. The bad news for Tesla owners is that while the problem of Supercharger abuse shouldn't get worse, it probably won't get much better in the immediate future, either.

Tesla has said that it will offer separate commercial Superchargers with their own unique fee structures for business clients, though whether these will open alongside the Megachargers for the upcoming Tesla Semi remains to be seen.