Tesla has decided to cut off Uber/Lyft or commercial drivers from supercharging their cars at Tesla charge points. This goes for Uber and Lyft car owners, that are basically private car owners but when logged on to the rideshare app are considered commercial.
Tesla has announced that as of December 22nd, 2017 any vehicle purchased after December 15th for commercial purposes will no longer be allowed to use their supercharging stations. Any driver that charges at one of these points will be unplugged and will not be able to charge anymore at any of their sites. This came after their sites were heavily impacted the efficiency and availability of their supercharge sites for private car owners which makes up the majority of their customers.
This will have a direct impact on private car owners that have bought or consider buying a Tesla car and using it for Uber and Lyft. Tesla has hit its market share hard with this statement, especially the new Tesla 3 model owners, whom will not have unlimited access to their supercharger points, unlike Model S and X car owners which were sold under their Tesla owner's referral program.
Having stated this, Tesla went on to say that they encouraged the use of their cars for commercial purposes but warned that they would block commercial drivers from using any outlet if they violate the rules. The use of supercharging is imperative for speedy top-ups, and commercial cars need speed to maintain a quality service. Tesla is basically sending commercial car owners to non-Tesla plug-in stations, which might or might not have supercharging capabilities.
This recent turn of events highlights the weak infrastructure that electric cars have around the US. EV companies must start to develop a saturation of supercharging points in every gas station available. This comes in light of the exponential growth of EV's around the country and the service that is expected from companies selling EV's. It's not enough to charge at home or possibly at work, there is a need for more charging points, as much as there are gas stations, so should there be EV charge points.
Just to understand the scope of Tesla's reach in the US, there are 1,043 Supercharger Stations with 7,496 Superchargers. According to Tesla "Tesla is installing Superchargers in urban areas where city dwellers and out of town visitors can easily charge. These stations are placed at convenient locations like grocery stores, downtown districts, and shopping centers so charging fits seamlessly into your life."
Information supplied from the Tesla site: https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
Charging costs are approximate. Charging cost estimate assumes Supercharger cost of $0.20 per kilowatt hour. Gasoline cost assumes 21 MPG at $2.73 per gallon. Cost may vary depending on the vehicle location, configuration, battery age and condition, driving style and operation, and environmental and climate conditions.
Superchargers deliver energy rapidly, and gradually slow down as the battery fills. Your vehicle automatically alerts you when it has enough energy to continue the trip and with the extensive network of Superchargers along popular routes, charging above 80% isn't typically necessary.