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~1 Year Later: Where are the battery swap stations?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Matias, May 11, 2014.

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  1. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    It is soon one year since Tesla announced battery swap. Still there to my knowledge aren't any swapping stations online. Has Tesla changed plans? Has anyone seen swapping station under construction?
     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    I would not be waiting and holding my breath for this to occur. There MAY sometime be a station between LA and SF but I do not think this is going to be a major development any time in the foreseeable future.
     
  3. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    Was there some change in CARB rules, which reduced incentives for Tesla to build those stations?
     
  4. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Not that I am aware of, but I think Tesla had to qualify by showing it is possible...not that they had to continue to make the possibility economically feasible or managerially viable.
     
  5. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    AFAIK, this did not come up in the QA following the Q1 earnings report so it seems they've put it on the back burner. I was disappointed as well. Back in February Elon admitted they were being slow at getting these stations online and that they would make it a priority going forward.
     
  6. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

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    Swap will go the same way of the 40 pack...
     
  7. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Maybe so, but at least there were some 40s that made it out before TM axed them. Just hoping to have one in CA.
     
  8. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    Yes, in April, California changed ZEV credit conditions:

    California Hands Loss To Tesla In Proposed ZEV Credit Changes

    This means it is not enough to have the ability or even the stations but they would have to show miles traveled on swapped batteries.
     
  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Not really too difficult. Just add a miles since last swap trip meter and report that number back to the mothership whenever a car is swapping packs.
     
  10. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    Battery swapping would be much better if there was a battery lease program so you didn't have to return for your battery or pay the difference.
     
  11. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Not difficult, but there would be so few miles driven on swapping that Tesla would only get minimal "fast refuel" credits. H2 vehicles get credit for all their miles as fast refuel, even if a slow fill H2 station is used. These ARB H2 rules seem moronic and anti-clear air to me. Why push H2 instead of having technology independent regulations?

    Tesla's supercharging is the real deal that customers will pay for. H2 fast fill is not. Neither is battery swapping. Just take a look where these technologies are ten years from now.

    GSP
     
  12. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    I never liked the battery swap idea, so I'm glad TM are not moving forward with it.
    Too big of a headache in my opinion, they would have to have a ton of packs in stock not knowing how many will be used, seems like a waste of batteries when they need all the batteries they can get right now
     
  13. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    I think this is what it comes down to. Every battery placed in a swap station is one fewer car that can be sold. The cars are worth a lot more to the bottom line.

    I was a fan of battery swapping, but now I think that a larger pack and faster supercharging is better. I still wonder about Gen III though.
     
  14. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Ignoring the fact that the battery swap system isn't really practical - the CARB rules just are not rational.

    The whole fast refueling thing is not nearly as important as they think it is. I have driven over 50000 miles in EVs and I have never charged faster than 17kW. An EV needs occasional fast recharge, but 95+% of miles driven of 95+% of drivers can be covered with home/office charging.

    Which would you rather have?
    1. A car that never needs to visit a filling station if you stay within a couple hundred miles of your home ( 95+% of the typical owners miles ) - but if you do you can recharge at 300 mph at ~20 locations in California - covering the majority of the state. If you go elsewhere without superchargers you have millions of outlets to choose from.

    2. A theoretical car that can not be refueled at home and must be refueled at a station every time ( which works out to once per week ). At that station it refuels at 1800 mph. ( 300 miles of range in 10 minutes ). There are some small number of theoretical stations scattered around the state - hope you live near one. Because spur of the moment top ups will be hard, you will end up visiting the filling station with a partial tank - more often than necessary.

    To be comparable to car #1, car #2 needs a couple orders of magnitude more refueling stations - but those won't be required to qualify for the credits.
    Car #2 will qualify for more credits with token infrastructure in place, but it will never be as practical as Car #1.
     
  15. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    The thing I am worried about is when the hot swap battery swap doesn't work. Like it literally pulls out your battery and then SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Then you are stuck there with a mechanical failure. The problem here is that this WILL happen. I don't think its a matter of if. Because you can only mitigate something like this, not eliminate.

    So there is a lot to work out from that stand point and the last thing they need is a headline saying that one of their hot shot swapper failed and left a customer stranded for hours.
     
  16. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    It's for this reason that I only see battery swapping working at or very near service centers, in case something goes wrong you need mechanics nearby. Also, swapping makes more sense in city centers - start your trip with a loaner pack and pick yours up when you return.
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Battery swapping seems to be one of those ideas that sounds really interesting when you first hear about it but in reality doesn't seem to work out very well. When I first heard about Better Place, I thought it sounded like an interesting idea. Tesla comes around and shows you why battery swapping may not be the best use of resources. There still may be some case for it as said above in city centers. Also for something like a Taxi service possibly might make sense. I just don't know if the numbers make it cost effective. I'm sure someone's run those numbers already.
     
  18. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    I always believed that the battery swap demo was a marketing stunt, as opposed to a practical idea that would be implemented.

    A year ago there were many fewer Supercharger stations and little experience with the effectiveness of the Supercharging concept. Many people were worried that Superchargers would become overcrowded as more Model S's were sold. So Tesla demonstrated that if waiting for a Supercharger station became a problem, they had a solution (at $500K a pop). Since then we have seen a dramatic expansion of the Supercharger network and more charging stalls at locations where there were queues forming (Harris Ranch, Gilroy, Hawthorne, etc.). So back-burnering the battery swap stations seems like an appropriate strategy IMO.
     
  19. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    When the battery is half the cost of the car the economics of battery swapping taxis seems unlikely.
    Most probably you are better off having 1 more car that is earning fares than 2 batteries that sit there doing nothing.
    A swap station is probably the cost of several cars, same thing there.
     
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Good points. Maybe there really is no business case for battery swapping at current prices at least. A taxi service with your own dedicated Supercharger might work out even better.
     

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