Rallying for Hourly: Tesla urges Canadian owners to push for charging payment by kWh

Toronto, Ontario — Tesla is urging owners in Canada to help push the government to allow the automaker to charge their vehicles by the kWh, instead of my minute. 

Tesla is also expected to make similar requests in other markets where governments only allow charging per minute instead of for the total energy, which according to the automaker is less than ideal. 

Tesla uses a two-tier system and charges a certain amount per minute when charging under 60kW (tier 1) and over 60kW (tier 2). Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2, but the price changes based on electricity rates in specific markets.

While this system reduces the impact of time-based billing, it’s still not representative of the actual electricity that the consumer is getting.

Tesla further elaborates on this in an email to Canadian owners:

With time-based billing, consumers run the risk of paying more to charge their EV one day compared to the next. Battery state of charge and temperature are just two of the factors that can affect charging speeds and thus cost — regardless of the amount of electricity delivered. For example, as an EV driver, you pay certain amount to charge your vehicle for 30 minutes on a fast (Level-3) chargers. If that 30-minute charging session is in the winter, you’ll be paying the same amount, but you’ll likely get less electricity for your money, since cold temperatures affect charging speeds. This is just one of the many scenarios in which the $/minute billing hurts you as a customer.

In Canada, Tesla owners can charge by the kWh, but they have to use an expensive utility-grade electricity meter, which Tesla claims will result in higher costs.

Tesla explained in the same email:

Current Federal standards, established by Measurement Canada require that anyone providing EV charging services must charge customers on a time-only basis. The only other option available is to use a pre-approved and inspected utility-grade electricity meter, but that would increase charging infrastructure costs, reduce charging availability, and increase charging infrastructure costs, reduce charging availability, and increase charging costs for consumers. These Federal standards were designed well before EVs became popular and public EV charging became common, and the unintended effect of these rules is less price transparency for consumers and unfair billing for EV charging.

This is why Tesla is urging Canadian owners to contact Measurement Canada and ask them to allow charging station operators to charge by the kWh using their own connected charger.

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