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Tesla battery swap: Post announcement discussion

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by dsm363, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    I attended the event tonight; drove up from San Diego. Got to meet Elon briefly. The event itself, the onstage part, seemed like it was over as soon as it began; the wait was longer than the actual demo. It was supposed to start at 8pm, but didn't until almost 9. Then Elon comes out and speaks for a few min and then the demo, which was over in 4 minutes with two Model S's both swapping. After a few final words, Elon hopped in the 2nd car and drove off and that was it. The rest was party and schmoozing.

    What was in a quite unexpected way somewhat more exciting for me at this event was being able to closely inspect a Model X they had parked outside on a patio by the bar. All the doors were open. Some people reacted with disappointment that it was too small. I was surprised that it seemed smaller than my Audi Q5. But not by much. But generally it looked pretty darn good, and I liked how much higher it was over the road than the S. It almost got me thinking that I ought to order an X instead of an S. It's the 14-month wait that's preventing me from seriously going the X route . . . but the car looked great!
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Satelittes and smart missiles can triangulate fairly well from orbit and near-orbit. I have confidence Musk's engineers can design reliable alignment. I mean they've got some decent experience with robotics from the factory with much higher tolerances by now. :)
     
  3. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    Seems like a safe bet. It doesn't necessarily require motors, sensors and stuff. There could be some mechanical guide pins or something for the jig as it rises.
     
  4. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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  5. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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    wow. smaller than a Q5? mmmh...with 2 carseats i wonder how things like camping/lots of stuff cause you have kids is going to work out?


    oh yeah...i had a feeling this would simply be about nut-runners. should of skipped reading all those pre-announcement threads.
     
  6. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    I wonder what Elon meant by the fact that Shai got the technical details of how to implement the swap wrong. And Elon also tweeted that the idea was obvious but the implementation is not.


    However, I can see virtually no difference between the way the Tesla Swapper works vs. how the Better Place swapper works, except that the Better Place swapper is a bit faster and Tesla uses nut runners instead of clamps. And better place built a rain shelter around it. Maybe it's at a deeper level, like using a drive screw instead of a drive band to reduce failure rate?

    What they don't show us in either is what happens with the batteries before and after. There could be something there?

    As it stands right now I think this is pretty much the most obvious implementation out there...
     
  7. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    The implementation issues involve building a large battery that doesn't require a gazillion swap locations to support it, then putting it into a car that people actually want to buy, at a price they are willing to pay.

    There was zero wrong with Better Place's swap technology. It was the other factors that doomed them.
     
  8. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    Elon was pretty specific that he thought Shai got it wrong on pack swap:

    "It's worth noting Shai Agassi actually got the battery pack swap idea from a visit to Tesla about 5 years ago. That was the genesis of Better Place. In fact I'm a little concerned that people will think we're copying Better Place where in fact Better Place they came on a tour and we told them we'll probably do battery pack swap one day, and we describe how we would do it and next thing we know Shai Agasi is creating a company around the idea. Which is fine - I don't mind. In Tesla we're pretty open about stuff. I try to minimize patents actually - I'm not a big fan of proprietory technology. The thing is that Shai was very good at marketing, but not very good at Technology. So he didn't quite get it right on the pack swap thing. And ... then they went bankrupt obviously."


    Of course Elon was trying to keep some technical details under wrap at the time, so this may be irrelevant.
     
  9. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Excellent! Thanks, db!

    In the interest of fairness/objectivity (something I am cursed with), I must point out that this was not a true apples/apples comparison. For the ICE, the timer began as soon as he pulled up to the pump and, thus, included the payment process. This was not true on the swapper side, since payment details have not been released at this time. Depending on what Tesla decides to implement, this will probably only take a few seconds, but they should have included a 30 second handicap or something. Especially in the case where you are picking up your original battery and have to wait for it to be brought out (and you can't just load the closest one).

    I don't believe this minor bias negates what Tesla has done here but, like when they started off a bit "optimistic" in calculating a Model S lease payment, it is something for the critics to pick at. I think they could have started the timer when the gas started flowing and still have had an effective demo.

    P.S. I watched the demo with my mom and the first thing she said to me was "How do you know they just didn't put the same battery back in?". Now, I trust Tesla wouldn't pull something like that, but it's a fair question from an outside observer. Perhaps they could have painted the packs different colours?
     
  10. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    I would think you they have your credit card on file, and you just drive up. Presumably if you don't have a credit card on file it will ask you to drive off again, enter your credit card, and then only drive up again. These stations are expensive, so they'll want throughput on one station, and not have people sitting on the station while futzing around with the screen.
     
  11. Mookuh

    Mookuh Member

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    He might also have been refering to technology on a broader scale, e.g. that the batterys they were swapping in-and-out were too small to be worth it.

    Another explaination might be Elon suffering from a slight superiority complex, especially in the field of engineering. Couldn't blame him for that ;)
     
  12. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't blame anybody that created the SpaceX Grasshopper from thinking that :).
     
  13. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Yes, but the Air Resourses Board ("CARB" to us non-Californians) has started the process to make battery swap ineligible for fast-refueling credits. The only possible way to stop this would be to show that it is pratical and available to consumers. Hopefully Tesla will succeed in keeping their fast refueling certification, but the battle is just starting, and success is not assured.

    GSP
     
  14. gctseng

    gctseng All around good guy

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    One thing I haven't seen anyone mention for a reason (benefit) of having battery swapping is that the Supercharger stations can use the batteries as energy buffers--being charged when electrical rates (and load) are low, and used to swap for drained batteries (for people wanting to swap the batteries) as well as used for supplying energy to the Superchargers (for people who don't mind waiting). They can also be used to store the energy acquired from the solar panels.

    The question I have is how many batteries they have at each station.
     
  15. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    +1 yes. I don't see the business case.

    I am a little concerned about the potential success of this. It is supposed to answer the Joe User doubts, but surely just leaves more questions open.

    In an ICE car, 30mpg, 30 gallons gives 900 miles - so swap time is similar to a fill-up but you only charge 1/4 the number of times.

    Or, just call me when you have 100,000 of these stations deployed.

    The economics of a $500k station is worrying when a gas station can cater to ALL vehicles, but Tesla swap stations only to a few Model S.

    Enough negatives! The technology demo was pretty cool :)
     
  16. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Yes and no. It's more than marketing, in several ways. One of them being:

    There are two main routes between SF and LA: I-5 and 101. According to google maps, I-5 is 6 hours and 101 is 7 hours. 101 is in most people's opinion a much nicer drive with (in general) much better places for a stop. However out of those who drive that route even just occasionally, many choose I-5 because of that 1 hour difference. I'd guess they did even if the difference was just half an hour. People are used to selecting the fastest way to travel (but try to avoid the up-front price and extra organizing effort of a plane trip). It's a general thing.
     
  17. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    deonb:
    I really don't see why this big fuss about un/screwing the bolts and stuff? Yes, there are some factors to care about but really - they do it at least 100 times each day at the factory.

    This is the same machine that mounts the battery to chassis in the factory with a bit of added logistics. It is obvious that the most of those 90 seconds are spent re/moving the pack. Un/boltingis and lowering/lifting is done in ~10 seconds.
    If this thing was designed from ground up with faster removal/delivery those 90 seconds could be just 30 seconds or even less.

    So, will GenIII have the same battery size and same 4 chassis lifting spots or will there be swapping stations for S/X and different stations with different mechanism for GenIII?
    Are all swapped batteries 85kWh?
    Is this the real reason MS60 weighs just a bit less then MS85? If so there is a first big compromise on the altar of FUD.
     
  18. twinklejet

    twinklejet Member

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    50.
     
  19. Johan

    Johan Funds for M3 secured. Contingent on wife aproval.

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    Thanks for that clarification!
     
  20. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Pretty amazing from my point of view. Elon just keeps pounding away at the naysayers.

    Do I ever get MY battery back, or do I just keep swapping? Do I HAVE to get my battery back?
     

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