Tesla Tells New Taxi, Uber Drivers Not to Use Its Superchargers

A Model S charges at a supercharger station in Paramus, New Jersey, on Dec. 11, 2014. 

Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Professional drivers looking to buy a Tesla to shuttle paying customers around should consider this: Vehicles purchased after Dec. 15 for commercial purposes won’t be allowed to use the company’s Superchargers anymore, according to an updated policy.

The change in rules applies to vehicles being deployed as taxis -- including by drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. or Lyft Inc. -- as well as cars used for commercial deliveries or government purposes. The policy shift is intended to keep the high-speed battery chargers available for other customers without immediate access to home or workplace charging.

“Currently, in some areas, heavy Supercharger use by commercial customers such as taxis can occasionally impact availability for other drivers,” Tesla Inc. said in an emailed statement, noting that the change will “encourage the fair use of Superchargers by as many customers as possible.”

Related: Tesla Is Rethinking the Rest Stop for California Road Trips

Tesla said in the online policy it could limit or block a vehicle’s ability to use the stations if the drivers violate the new rule. The company said it also might exclude certain charging stations or occasional trips from the new policy.

“We encourage the use of Teslas for commercial purposes and we’ll work proactively with these customers to find charging solutions that work best for them,” the emailed statement said.

Superchargers are intended to provide fast charging along main highways during long-distance travel, though the network’s been expanded to include city center locations as well. In Manhattan, where Tesla opened a new storefront Friday, there are two Supercharging stations, with an additional nine coming to the area soon.

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