View Full Version : Tesla battery swap station plans

22 June 2013, 1456
According to an article in my newspaper today, written by Catherine Green of the LA Times, Tesla has announced plans to install battery swap stations at many of their Supercharging station facilities. This appears to be big news - if you are a Tesla Model S owner (not so much otherwise). Tesla plans to start constructing facilities that would offer the Model S traveler the option to charge up for free or pay a (undisclosed) fee to just have their entire battery pack replaced with a new fully charged one. The Model S owner would drive over a pit, a technician would disconnect the car's battery and connect a new fully-charged battery pack to the underside of the car and the driver would then be able to take off and continue his trip. Tesla has produced a video showing that it takes 4:09 minutes to fill the gas tank of an IC car, whereas the Tesla battery can be changed in 1 minute 33 seconds. You would pay according to the condition of your existing battery pack and the condition of the fully charged replacement pack. You could retain this battery or return later and have your old battery pack reinstalled, fully charged, in your car.

Tesla says that each battery swap station will cost $500,000 to build. There is no mention what the cost would be to fully staff and maintain the swap stations 24/7. Tesla plans to implement this program along the busiest regional traffic corridors, including LA to SF and Boston to NYC.

You got to give Tesla credit for really putting up the cash to make it easy for their customers to travel long distances. And you also have to give them credit for making it tough on all of the other EV manufacturers to do the same. How is any other EV manufacturer going to compete with that program? I don't believe that even a GM or Honda would be willing to take that financial risk for their customers.