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Harris Ranch is getting first battery swap station

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by Lump, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    This whole A battery pack thing is lame. With an A pack, my range is less and it supercharges slower - I'm the one that truly needs the swap, not the guy with a D pack.
     
  2. ken830

    ken830 Model S 85, Model 3 Performance

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    A packs are lame. I have an A pack. But I also got an invite for the swap station. I do drive from SF Bay Area <-> Disneyland about 7 times per year, but I didn't do the swap because it doesn't make sense for me. I also had a pack failure and got a loaner B pack, so they are obviously compatible.
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!

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    Well, I stand corrected...
     
  4. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    I also did my first battery swap yesterday. I was warned the first swap might take a bit longer than normal since I have an older car- it ended up taking a bit over 17 minutes and afterwards I was told I had "all new hardware" connecting the battery to the car. On the plus side the whole battery swap was free since it took so long. And it was still faster than charging up- especially since the new battery had 98% state of charge. Future swaps should take the normal 3 to 4 minutes since I now have the standard fasteners holding the battery to the car.

    When it was done, I asked Mark (my point of contact for the entire appointment and swap process) how much range the new battery had and I was a little surprised by the answer- he said it depends on your car. The new battery only showed 254 miles so I assume my car thought it was my old battery at 98% state of charge and it will have to learn the exact capacity of the new battery as I drive. I hadn't thought about this before, but this probably means the rated range isn't quite right immediately after a battery swap and won't be right until the car learns the characteristics of the new battery. This could get someone in trouble when they first get their old battery back if it's lost some capacity relative to the loaner battery their car had adjusted to.

    one other thing I found interesting is that they only swap batteries for loaner batteries with the same capacity because otherwise they have to reinstall the car's software and that would take about as long as a supercharger and kind of defeat the purpose of the fast battery swap. I hope they improve the software so it can handle different battery capacities on the fly- I'd love to borrow a brand new 90 kWh battery for the next road trip!

    image.jpg
     
  5. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Great write up. As far as capacity, did you try a reboot? The range algo is stored on the BMS so it may have just been an issue with the MCU not querying the BMS properly. When I've had pack swaps done at the SvC and they perform the platform update, I immediately notice different range numbers via the mobile app.

    Regarding your other point about software updates. I've always wondered how they get around it. Like if the pack is running 2.5.36 firmware but your car is running 2.7.x firmware or somesuch. Replacing like with like still doesn't get around the firmware identifier mismatch so I guess the car just ignores it?
     
  6. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    i rebooted the main console about half an hour after the swap because I got the "Bluetooth needs servicing" error when I tried to make a phone call and a main screen reboot always fixes this particular issue. And both screens booted up fresh this morning. I was able to get one of the derelict Blink stations at the Torrey Pines Hilton to work so I'll make a note of what range a full charge on the loaner battery shows tomorrow. I'll also see what my original battery shows when I swap again tomorrow.

    Based on the comment that the displayed range depends on your car, I thought that perhaps the battery only told the car its state of charge and then the car turned that into a rated range and accounted for whether it was an S85, an 85D, a P85D, etc. But that is pure conjecture on my part. And now that you mention it, I do remember an immediate change in the rated range at 100% SOC when I had my pack replaced at the service center last year. Perhaps a pack replacement also requires a complete software update instead of just a reboot.
     
  7. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Can you also ask Mark precisely at what % SOC your battery was stored while you were away? I'm hoping that they keep them at 90% and only go to max once you are well on your way. We've never gotten a clear answer on this.

    When the SvC does it, a software update is definitely required to enable the pack. This is why I'm so curious how they are able to get around it.
     
  8. rsquared99

    rsquared99 Member

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    I charged at Harris Ranch around 6:00ish PM Thursday evening. I noticed a TV crew was videoing an interview with someone over by the swap station. There was an SUV there, non-Tesla by birth but I don't know what brand, that the interviewee was standing beside while he was being interviewed. There was some kind of "Eco-" logo on the car, I didn't get close enough to see what it read. Okay, so now that you have figured out I'm not a very good detective, there were 3 to 5 other Teslas charging there while I was there. Anyone else know out more about this activity?
     
  9. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    I did my second pack swap on Wednesday. Since I had already been upgraded to the new fasteners during the first swap, things went more quickly this time (7 minutes instead of the 17 minutes it took the first time). The loaner battery was installed on Monday with 254 rated miles and 98% state of charge. I was able to fully charge the loaner battery overnight on Tuesday and it stopped at 261 rated miles. When I got my original battery back on Wednesday, it was once again delivered at 98% state of charge, but this time only showed 247 rated miles. A full charge after getting home yielded 253 rated miles. So it appears the loaner battery had a higher capacity than my original battery and the car knew this immediately after each swap (some extrapolation from kWh used vs. state of charge for both batteries yields the difference in usable capacity at about 2.5 kWh, but this is a pretty crude estimate). Mark's comment that the rated miles depends on your car must mean that an 85D will show different rated miles than a P85D with the same battery simply based on differences in efficiencies of those two cars. The battery seemed to communicate its current usable capacity to the car before the car would have had a chance to observe how the battery behaves during use.

    It sounds like the swap station is getting a fair amount of use and slots for swaps during the holidays are filling up. Mark said he couldn't tell me exactly how many swaps they can do a day, but he did mention that another swap was going to happen soon after my second swap so the number is at least two swaps per day. I'll see if I can schedule our upcoming Christmas travel plans around the available swap slots. The time savings vs. supercharging wasn't that big of a deal since we are traveling with an infant who is the limiting factor for most stops. But part of our trip involves going on interstate 10 beyond the last supercharger station and a little extra battery capacity is a huge deal when you have to rely on RV parks to get to your destination.


    In case anyone is interested, I remembered to get a photo of the label on the loaner pack.



    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)] image.jpg [/COLOR]
     
  10. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    We did our third battery swap today. This time everything went smoothly and the swap took about four minutes. I say about because I was walking our dogs and missed when the swap actually finished. It was four minutes 45 seconds from when the car stopped over the battery swap pit to when they completed the swap, opened the door, and drove the car outside.

    What I found even more interesting was that a gray Model S pulled into the swap station a couple of minutes after we finished and they were in and out in what seemed to be about the same three or four minutes. So the swap station doesn't take very long to reset for another car. I find this kind of impressive because they had to move our depleted battery out of the swap equipment and move a fresh battery into place within that time.

    I also saw the new hydrogen station- it's about 200 feet from the battery swap station. I doubt anyone will be surprised to hear that no one used the hydrogen station while we and the other Tesla had their batteries swapped. There was also plenty of action at the superchargers.
     
  11. Johan

    Johan Funds for M3 secured. Contingent on wife aproval.

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    Thx for the updates!

    It seems most people think swapping is out in the cold, for now, but I live it that Tesla keep working on it as a side project. Who knows what the future brings?

    Cover all your bases. Because they are belong to us.
     
  12. abasile

    abasile Conscientious investor

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    Great news re. swap and SC utilization. As for the hydrogen station, I suspect it's out of range for a good number of Mirai drivers, as they are having to return to their Toyota dealers every 150 miles or less for half-pressure refills due to delays in hydrogen infrastructure build-out. Of course, this is occurring at multiples of the price tag for equivalent long-distance EV infrastructure. In the long run, swapping could well end up making sense for some of the very use cases that hydrogen seems to be aimed at, namely for drivers lacking convenient access to charging and travelers for whom even Supercharging isn't fast enough.
     
  13. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

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    Did my fourth pack swap on Monday. This time I asked Mark about battery storage and he said they fully charge the batteries prior to storage. The loaner battery was delivered with 96% SOC and on the way back my original battery was returned with 97% SOC- perhaps there is a little self discharge and/or the BMS is using a measurable amount of energy during storage.

    The swaps got faster each time I did them. The fourth time it was a little over four minutes from when the car went into the swap station to when it emerged out the other side so it was probably less than four minutes over the pit. I heard a bit of yelling right before the swap was finished and I though something might have gone wrong, but it was probably just the people running the swap station trying to encourage each other to finish with a good time.

    We were traveling with 2 dogs and an 11-month old (as well as caravanning with my wife's parents in their Toyota highlander) so the time savings vs. supercharging wasn't really that helpful because we still stayed there a while tending to the dogs, the baby, and eating lunch. What made the swaps worth the $80 was that the loaner battery charged to 7 more rated miles than my battery (262 miles vs. 255) and I saved 2,026 miles worth of wear and tear on my battery. 7 miles of extra capacity might not seem like a lot, but part of the trip was out of supercharger range and the extra capacity saved me about 15 minutes of charging time at an RV park in Wilcox AZ on the trip out to Las Cruces, NM and again on the way back (15 minutes seems like a lot after you've already been waiting at an RV park for several hours). And if you ballpark the mileage cost of a Tesla battery at something like 10 cents a mile (based on the $22,500 cost to upgrade to a 90 kWh battery and assuming the battery will last for about 200,000 miles), $80 for 2,026 miles (about 4 cents a mile) seems like a pretty good deal.

    Overall I'm quite impressed with how well the battery swap technology works. But I'm not sure if Harris Ranch is really the best place for the station since we always seem to arrive at Harris around either lunch time or dinner time and supercharging time isn't the limiting factor for getting back on the road. I think the killer applications for swap technology would be renting higher capacity loaner batteries for long road trips and making it convenient for people with no place to charge at home to drive an EV (I ran into someone doing multiple 30 minute CHAdeMO charging sessions with the adapter at the Corte Madera mall because they had no place to charge at home). Locating the stations in urban areas (perhaps at busy Tesla service centers) would help with both of these applications.

    I also got a photo of the loaner battery sticker before the final swap. It has a different serial number than the first loaner battery I got, but it still looks like a refurbished battery. I believe Mark said they have 12 batteries in the swap program- if I go on enough road trips that pass through Harris Ranch maybe I can collect them all (or at least all of the 85 kWh ones).


    IMG_3841.jpg
     
  14. Johan

    Johan Funds for M3 secured. Contingent on wife aproval.

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    Great info wraithnot!

    Your milage wear-and-tear calculations make sense and (assuming Tesla is pricing the swap correctly) tells us something about their low internal cost for batteries, especially refurbished ones.

    Also your last sentence had me chuckling; I kept thinking Pokemon - "Gotta catch them all" :)
     
  15. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Thanks for the additional info. It seems that Tejon Ranch could use a battery swap station.
     
  16. bhuwan

    bhuwan Supporting Member

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    Are people still swapping, out of curiosity?
     
    • Like x 1
  17. MITE46

    MITE46 Member

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    Battery swap has not been available for a couple months now...my last 5 trips supercharging have been horrible...especially with reduced supercharging power along the 5 fwy.
     
    • Informative x 2
  18. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    When did they stop offering it? I have not heard about the this service getting terminated. I knew that there was a low take up rate and that they were trying to get more users to try it.
     
  19. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I bet if all the loaner batteries were 100kWh models that the service would be much more popular.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. MITE46

    MITE46 Member

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    My last swap was early May...I hope it comes back soon! =)
     

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