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For the first time in 3 1/2 years, I encountered “No Room at the Inn” for Tesla Superchargers. I stopped at the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT to get my glasses repaired, have a sandwich, visit the four PokéStops, and catch some wild Pokémon. Tesla recently installed ten Supercharger stalls at the Mall, and today was the first time I saw all of them occupied at once. I did not need a charge, but why not have “filled it up” if possible.

With the anticipated flood of new Tesla Model 3s on the road, Superchargers will become very busy. As a result, the company has adopted a new “Fair Use” policy which will exclude Supercharger use for taxis, ridesourcing such as Uber or Lyft, commercial delivery, government purposes, or other commercial ventures. The purpose of the free (for now, for many) worldwide Supercharger network is to facilitate long distance personal travel, a significant advantage Tesla has over other EVs at this stage. For local use, it is expected owners will normally charge at their home or business location overnight.

Another part of Tesla’s evolving policy addresses people who abuse the Supercharger parking. For example, a CT resident might decide to drive to the Mall, plug in, and spend the following few hours shopping when they may need only a half-hour or less to charge. Meanwhile others may have no access to charging because the “Inn is full”. The new Tesla policy will implement a charge once your car is charged. You will be notified on your smartphone if half or more of the total stalls are occupied and your charge has completed. After reasonable notice, you will be charged a fee per minute while your car is fully charged and occupying (hogging) a stall.

Overall, the charging cost can be a bit confusing. There are special credits, deals, and promotions out there. My first Tesla Model S had lifetime free charging. At the end of my three-year lease, I got a second Model S on another three-year lease. In return for acquiring another new Tesla, I was given lifetime free charging once again. All things considered for everyone, charging is not expensive. When the cost is converted to what gasoline would cost, the Tesla gets the equivalent of more than 100 miles per gallon.

While enjoying the fact your car is not burning fossil fuel, you can also enjoy the fact the Mall itself is quite energy efficient. One day when I was catching Pokemon, near the back of the Mall, I discovered there are a number of tractor trailer sized BloomEnergy Servers. They are not really servers, that is just PR, they are fuel cells. The cells are made from oxide (sand) which is heated to 1,800 degrees. Fuel (probably natural gas) flows into the fuel cells and a chemical reaction causes electricity to be created without any combustion. The by-product of the process is water. Danbury Fair Mall’s fuel cells produce 750,000 kW of clean, reliable energy while reducing the carbon emissions of the facility by nearly 3 million pounds each year and meeting more than a third of the Mall’s energy needs.