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Tesla Battery Swap Program Invite - Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Runs Kwh, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Runs Kwh

    Runs Kwh Member

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    I just received an email yesterday offering the opportunity to participate in the Tesla battery swap program (at Harris Ranch). I haven't called the number yet to set an appointment to go in, but it seems that none of the folks I know that have Teslas received the invite (perhaps I was invited since I've done the LA to SF drive 3 or 4 times over the past year?).

    My question is what are the pros and cons of this program? For example, my car currently has 17K in miles on the car and it seems there has been no battery degrading over the 9 months of owning the car.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Is the battery replaced with a new battery or a recycled battery?

    2) If the battery is recycled from another car, could I get stuck with an older battery that perhaps is somewhat degraded in terms of distance (ie my battery has only 17K on it, what if I get a battery that has 100K on it?)

    3) Is there the chance that I could get a battery with a longer range? For example, I've got the 85 battery. If Tesla starts to offer a 100 battery (or whatever), would I be eligible for it?

    Any other thoughts or questions that I should ask?
     
  2. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    1) You get your battery back. You swap once on the way there and swap again on the way back. In the end your car will be with the same battery you started with.

    2) See Answer 1. The battery you have for the duration of your trip might be "worse" than yours, but you'll get yours back.

    3) Tesla has not said what might happen in the future. At one point they commented that if you don't come back to get your original battery, you'll get charged the difference between the new battery and the one you left there. How this is calculated and whether you can actually even do this today while it's in beta is unknown.
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I beleive the way the program works, you still own your battery. The theory is that you drop your battery on the way to SF, then pick yours up on the way back fully charged. If your routing does not allow you to return Via Harris Ranch, then they will ship the battery to your closest Service Center for swapping.
     
  4. NorCalSJ

    NorCalSJ Member

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    great explanation, this is also my understanding
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    The only downside I could see is some minor wear and tear on your car and battery from the swapping - bolts getting retorqued, fluid quick-connects getting reconnected, high voltage connectors getting unplugged/plugged.

    Each of those mechanical contact points will have a cycle limit. I suspect they're quite high, but might be worth asking.
     
  6. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    If you are out of warranty, will Tesla cover wear-and-tear due to swapping? I'm guessing no.
     
  7. davewill

    davewill Member

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    I can't see a downside. Tesla is going to have to watch over the early participants and take their concerns into account.
     
  8. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    I'm sure the number of initial invites to use the station is small. While I believe Tesla has this all dialed in if they are allowing outsiders to use the system, you technically will be a beta tester still for the whole contraption.

    With this in mind I'm sure Tesla would cover any problems, warranty or no.
     
  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Is there a wait list to get invited?
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    What, if anything, is the fee?

    As a beta tester I'm thinking the fee may initially be waived.

    Larry
     
  11. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    $40 each way, according to this post: Harris Ranch is getting first battery swap station - Page 34

    It was announced you're supposed to get your battery back but I don't think we know for sure that's how it is currently implemented. Try it out, ask a lot of questions, and post back here and let us know.
     
  12. MarcG

    MarcG Active Member

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    I just got the email invitation. Will call the number to ask a bunch of questions and report back with answers :)
     
  13. ddimit

    ddimit Member

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    Just got an invite here as well. The must pull records from people charging at Harris Ranch.
     
  14. MarcG

    MarcG Active Member

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    Yep, sounds like it.
     
  15. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    My invite says the cost is something less than a tank of gasoline and its a 3 minute swap. Not sure how I am ahead by doing this.......unless I need to save 30 minutes.
    This also requires driving the boring I-5 instead of the more interesting 101.
     
  16. MarcG

    MarcG Active Member

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    This. Battery swap is clearly for people who are in a rush and don't mind spending $50-80 to save 1/2 an hour.
     
  17. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    I can understand paying $40 to save 30 minutes. I get even paying $400 to save 30 minutes if it's a critical 30 minutes. It's the inconvenience of the thing. Why would I make an appointment to do this and then commit myself to return again, via appointment, to get my battery pack? Since I've converted to driving with Superchargers built into my road tempo, I can't go back ... I mean, why suffer a non-stop drive when I could get a Starbucks and use the bathroom comfortably every 150-200 miles?

    When the wind is blowing right and there is no smell, the grassy area behind the HR Supercharger is great to lounge out on with a picnic blanket and catch some rays for 15 minutes. Some of you may have seen me do this on a yoga mat this year. :)

    - K
     
  18. kp.sfo

    kp.sfo Member

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    Got my invite today as well but have never charged at Harris Ranch. Might have gone out to a wider population. Potentially every owner in CA?
     
  19. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I got mine too a few days ago. I've never been to Harris Ranch. As with Tdriver, I hate the 5 and take the 101.
     
  20. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    I got an invite. I may drive out to California for a conference later this year, and if I do, I'm tempted to do the battery swap.

    But then I get to thinking, I'd be doing it for the wrong reasons. I'd be doing it out of nerdy, Tesla-fan curiosity, so I could take pictures and/or videos, and do a writeup here in TMC. I would not be doing it for any normal reason; for the reasons that Tesla hoped the thing would be useful and could scale up around the world over time. I'd just be doing it it to try it out. But then I get to thinking, I gotta pay? When I would be using half a dozen free superchargers or more just to drive out to Harris Ranch, and then use more chargers north of that, and then ditto on the return home? Again, it'd be geek-factor drving it, nothing else. And I'm thinking that's not enough of a reason to do it. I might do it if it were $20 coming and $20 going, but even then... not so sure.
     

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