Tesla is turning to owners in Canada to help push the government to allow the automaker to charge their vehicles by the kWh.

The automaker is expected to make similar pushes in other markets where the authorities only allow charging per minute instead of for the total energy.

In some markets, charging station operators are not allowed to charge electric car drivers by the kWh — like an electric utility.

Instead, they charge by the minute, which 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 explained in an email to 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, they can actually charge by the kWh, but they have to use 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.

That’s 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.

Here’s the email in full:

Hello,

Have you ever noticed or wondered why EV drivers are billed by the minute for charging sessions, rather than by the amount of electricity received?

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.

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.

While Tesla’s tier billing system takes charging speed into account and diminishes the impact on the consumer, this isn’t the case for most public charging networks. To enable more transparent and fair billing for all consumers, all the time, Measurement Canada should allow network-connected EV charging connectors to count energy use, while they establish rules for accuracy.

Join us in urging Measurement Canada to temporarily pause the current rules while they work toward developing new long term EV charging metering standards. Help accelerate Canada’s transition to sustainable energy by clicking below to learn more and have your voice heard.

We appreciate your support

Best Regards,
Tesla Policy Team

Electrek’s Take

It seems like a sensitive request.

Connected chargers should be able to accurately calculate and keep track of how much power they deliver.

With this being an issue in several markets for Tesla and now the company’s policy team is on it, I expect to see similar efforts popping up in other markets.

Let us know in the comment section below if you are getting similar emails in other markets.

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