Tesla introduces yet another charging program called “Workplace Charging,” adding to its range of existing programs, including the Supercharger network, Urban Superchargers, and the Destination Charging network.
Under the new program announced on Thursday, Tesla proposes to provide free brand-specific Tesla charging points at workplace parking lots, which appears to be a really handy option, particularly for Tesla owners who live in apartment blocks and don’t have access to a garage at night.
The EV giant said that it would engage building owners/managers to set up the charging infrastructure in their parking areas absolutely free. The electricity cost, however, will have to be taken care of by the building owners/management.
This is how the company described the new program in its Thursday statement.
“As Tesla’s fleet continues to grow, it is more important than ever for our customers to be able to easily charge their cars where they park. The most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight at home, and for most people, this is all that is needed. For others, such as those who live in an apartment, Tesla is introducing its new Workplace Charging program. Charging at work is simple and convenient, just plug in and your car is charged by the time you’re done for the day.
For qualified employers or commercial property managers who choose to provide an EV charging option, Tesla will review, donate their Tesla Wall Connectors and provide installation assistance. Energy costs will be the responsibility of the property,” the statement added.”
Tesla did not divulge any information on how much it is looking to invest in the workplace program, nor has it revealed the identities of the companies that have already enrolled for the free infrastructure.
The workplace program is somewhat similar to the company’s Destination Charging network, which covers establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and resorts where Tesla has installed free chargers, specific to its brand, for the customers of these businesses.
Needless to say, the cost of electricity is the responsibility of the concerned establishment.
The dissimilarity, however, lies in the fact that the Workplace Charging stations will not show up on Tesla’s onboard navigation system, as they are meant for a specific set of users who work or live in the buildings covered under this scheme and not for the general public, as is the case with Destination Charging network.
Business owners interested in providing free charging facility to their employees can apply for the new program on the company’s official website (https://www.tesla.com/charging-partners#apply).
While it may seem to be a magnanimous move on the part of Tesla, it must be mentioned that the company will surely benefit from it in the long run.
Potential customers who have so far held themselves back from purchasing a Tesla EV simply because they do not have a garage at home are likely to come into the Tesla scheme of things.
Tesla owners who do have access to a garage will also benefit from the Workplace Charging program by choosing to charge their EVs at the workplace, instead of their own garage, to save on energy costs.
Also, the workplace charging stations will be Tesla-specific and cater to all Tesla models, but not to other EVs.
According to Tesla, the rate of charge will depend on the available infrastructure and are likely to vary from location to location.
That said, the 240-volt “Level 2” wall chargers – the same units that people have in their personal garages – are capable enough to juice up a battery pack to capacity in a matter of a few hours.
However, they are nowhere near the company’s Superchargers that can top up a battery pack in just 75 minutes, while a 30-minute charge at one of these stations can give an additional 170 miles.
Tesla’s Supercharger network of 480-volt DC fast-charging stations, which the company began work on back in 2012, is designed for the long-distance traveler and is compatible with all its EVs, including the Model S, 3, and X.
Today, the network encompasses some 7,500 chargers at 1,045 stations.
In December 2016, the company started imposing monetary penalties on Tesla owners who indulged in hogging the superchargers by exceeding the five-minute limit of keeping their cars parked at a charging space.
“We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience. Therefore, we understand that it can be frustrating to arrive at a station only to discover fully charged Tesla cars occupying all the spots. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability,” Tesla wrote in a blog post back then.
The blog spoke about Tesla’s vision for the future when cars would be able to move out autonomously once the charge was complete thereby “enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further.”
“For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee. If the car is moved within 5 minutes, the fee is waived. To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it.” The blog said.
Then in 2017, the company took another step to further improve the functioning of its Supercharger network by disallowing commercial, ride-sharing, taxicab and government vehicles from using Superchargers.