Tesla is doubling down on a system to prevent people from blocking or “ICEing” Supercharger stalls and even integrates it into its mobile app.
The term “ICEing” a charging station is used in the EV community to describe ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles occupying a space for an EV at a charging station.
Many places have implemented fines for parking at a charging station without charging, which has discouraged people from doing it, but in markets where those don’t exist, it can be a real problem.
In some cases, people have been doing it on purpose to make some kind of point against electric vehicles.
In China, Tesla took an interesting approach to try to prevent ICEing a Supercharger.
In 2019, it started to deploy floor locking devices that pop up from the ground at some new Supercharging stations:
They started to appear at some new Supercharger stations being deployed by Tesla in the country.
However, the device complicated the generally smooth Supercharger experience since Tesla owners had to use a QR code and a third-party app to operate the floor locking devices.
In recent weeks, Tesla appears to be doubling down on this system.
The devices started to be implemented at every new charging station that Tesla deployed in China.
Here are just the most recent examples:
Tesla Supercharger in Xiamen – Baitong Science Park
Tesla Supercharger in Tianjin – Tianjin Keji city
Tesla Supercharger in Urumqi-Dehui Plaza
The ramp-up in the deployment of this system at Supercharger stations coincides with Tesla actually integrating the system in its mobile app.
Last month, Tesla released a new update to its mobile app, and Electrek found some media assets related to the floor locks.
They did not appear in the app, but it turns out that they do in China where Tesla now lets drivers unlock the devices directly from the app:
Tesla China Software Update:
Tesla App 4.3 update
Use Tesla App to unlock floor lock at Tesla Supercharger.
— 42HOW (@42how_) November 18, 2021
While it still adds a step to the Supercharging experience, it is now much easier since it doesn’t send you to a third-party app or requires the use of a QR code.
Following this new integration, it looks like Tesla is now implementing the system at all new Supercharger stations in China.
It’s unclear at this point if Tesla plans to expand the system to other markets.
What do you think? Do you want to see this being implemented in your market? Let us know in the comments section below.