Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla's battery-swap stations will finally arrive in December

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
from the article

Tesla has just told SlashGear that its much-hyped battery stations will finally arrive in California by December. Elon Musk and crew first flaunted the system to a large crowd over a year ago, showing how the Model S's battery can be changed in half the time it takes to gas up a regular car. Since then, Tesla has missed several of its own deadlines to install the fully automatic, robotic systems. Musk said his company has been "preoccupied with a few other issues," which no doubt include gearing up its battery-producing Gigafactory in Nevada and installing a network of supercharger stations.
 

ckessel

Active Member
Jan 15, 2011
4,447
276
I still don't really understand pursuing both swaps and superchargers.

If supercharging rates can keep being improved, as Tesla has claimed, then swaps become fairly irrelevant as progress marches on. Which leaves the first maybe 200,000 X & S on the road as the only folks with slower charging technology that'd find substantial value in the time saves with the swap.

If super chargers aren't the future, then Tesla's push to blanket the planet with "free for life" super chargers seems bizarre.

The case I can see being made for swapping is for commercial purposes. Long haul trucking as an example or commercial delivery vehicles that put on a 200 miles a day in city driving.

The cynic in me wonders if it's just a California only expenditure to grab ZEV credits. Tesla doesn't usually chase one-off money like that, but it might make sense in CA.
 

rlang59

Member
Feb 27, 2013
945
30
US

FredTMC

Model S VIN #4925
Dec 26, 2012
3,492
3,745
Orange County CA
Thrilled to see this coming. Tesla fulfilling a promise to test this capability to see how customer behavior works

I'm a 60kwh and I live in Cali, so I'd benefit on long trips. But what's really interesting is when tesla comes out with a bigger battery (e.g. 100kwh+). All existing tesla owners would be able to benefit from a fast swap on long trips and even get a larger battery for long trips.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,896
1,016
SF Bay Area
Like AWD via dual motors, battery swaps was another promise made back when the Model S was introduced in March of 2009. It will be interesting to see in action if only from an academic POV. I agree that as the Superchargers get better (in both quantity and charge rate), the utility of battery swap stations goes down.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,315
7,396
Maine
I still don't really understand pursuing both swaps and superchargers.

IF supercharging rates can keep being improved, as Tesla has claimed, then swaps become fairly irrelevant as progress marches on. Which leaves the first maybe 200,000 X & S on the road as the only folks with slower charging technology that'd find substantial value in the time saves with the swap.

If super chargers aren't the future, then Tesla's push to blanket the planet with "free for life" super chargers seems bizarre.

The case I can see being made for swapping is for commercial purposes. Long haul trucking as an example or commercial delivery vehicles that put on a 200 miles a day in city driving.

The cynic in me wonders if it's just a California only expenditure to grab ZEV credits. Tesla doesn't usually chase one-off money like that, but it might make sense in CA.

The big if is the possible Supercharging rates. If Tesla is serious and wants to be selling more than 500,000 drivetrains every year, there'll be a lot of Supercharging. At anywhere near current rates that cannot handle peak travel, like holidays. (Believe me, I've headed south when people were heading north in Maine and I've seen LONG jams). In fact, swapping used to supplement Supercharger spots could potentially be the difference-maker in making high percentage ownership possible. (Buy Model S/X, get n free swaps per year...).

Also, I should add that good swapping machines would also significantly cut the labor for the battery replacement cycle.

Swapping is something they need to have ready, but hope they won't have to use.
 

breser

AutoPilot Nostradamus
Aug 28, 2014
2,314
94
North Bend, WA
I still don't really understand pursuing both swaps and superchargers.

If supercharging rates can keep being improved, as Tesla has claimed, then swaps become fairly irrelevant as progress marches on. Which leaves the first maybe 200,000 X & S on the road as the only folks with slower charging technology that'd find substantial value in the time saves with the swap.

If super chargers aren't the future, then Tesla's push to blanket the planet with "free for life" super chargers seems bizarre.

In my opinion it comes down to this. This at least partially applies to 60kWh owners today. But it really applies to the Model 3.

I suspect that the Model 3 will come with a range more along the lines of the S60 as base. Over 200, but not approaching 300. That helps quite a bit in bringing the battery price down. So that creates a problem if you want to travel long distances. Battery swap technology lets people buy the base vehicle and then swap in the bigger battery when they want to go on long trips. Along the way they use the super chargers.

So to me this allows them to keep the average vehicle price down. Sure the S base starts at around $70k, but they sell very few 60s. They're usually much more expensive than that. If the Model 3 base price comes out at $50k and you need to upgrade to a bigger battery for $10k, plus whatever options you want, you're getting back close to the S base price. If that price point was attractive to the masses now they'd be selling tons of 60's.

So I think of the battery swaps as range anxiety insurance for people who buy smaller batteries.

The cynic in me wonders if it's just a California only expenditure to grab ZEV credits. Tesla doesn't usually chase one-off money like that, but it might make sense in CA.

Battery swaps no longer qualify for fast charging credits with CARB. Everyone until this has presumed that battery swapping died with that change by CARB.

Edit: Apparently I misunderstood. What I'd read in the past made me think CARB stopped the credits for battery swap entirely. Apparently they just limited to something that was being used. Tesla was getting credits for the swap technology since the cars are capable of it, even if they hadn't deployed it.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,477
9,595
Drammen, Norway
Interesting to see Tesla actual putting this thing in to real-life use. Will be very interesting to see how they price not just swap but mostly switching (i.e. not swapping back to your old battery again).



Also, if they roll this out further it could mean that we will not be seeing new pack capacities with the X but rather that they try to have as few different packs as possible - only the 60 and 85 and instead build the infrastructure (SC and swap) around those capacities. The 40 being ditched and no new packs with the D's would be consistent with this.



Anyhow, I will be the most interested in seeing if they will allow 60's to partake in swapping and if so, can they swap up to 85? How much? How much to keep the 85? Can you get paid to swap down from 85 to 60??? :)
 

SCDrJ

Member
Jul 26, 2014
158
63
Scottsdale, AZ
This will indeed be interesting. To me the limitation is having to go back and retrieve your old pack. I think once this opens though, if they make the full swap price reasonable you'll see a lot of Sig and other early adopters dropping off those "A" packs! That in and of itself might be why it's taken a while. They need to have extra batteries on hand above production needs and to accomodate those who don't want their old battery anymore.
 
Mar 25, 2013
619
557
Key West, FL
Couple thoughts come to mind after reading the article:

[1] Tesla made a profit last year for the first time, so does that mean future lessees will see the $7500 federal incentive passed on to them (in the form of cap cost reduction?? Up to now, Tesla has stated that the company has not realized any profits, thus they don't bother with the $7500.

[2] Battery swap: the car owner has to pay $60-$80 per swap?? That's like paying for gas. I'd imagine the battery swap stations will be rather empty, therefore lowering the ZEV credits for Tesla, as most owners will just spend a little time doing the "free" supercharging.
 

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,281
3,556
San Diego
I think it's going to be at Hawthorne. Massive construction underway, and it'll just be a matter of time until we all figure out that the swap station is coming there. Hence the news report from today
 

joer00

Member
Jan 26, 2013
334
62
Tampa
I don't get it. Battery swapping is the biggest BS in my opinion. It only works if the batteries would be leased. Home charging is sufficient for 90 % of our drives. Supercharges for 9 % of the rest which leaves 1 percent for swapping. I will never ever pay 60$ or more unless I am in the most desperate situation of my life.
 

abasile

Conscientious investor
To me the limitation is having to go back and retrieve your old pack.
I'm assuming that even if one does multiple swaps on a long trip, they'd only need to worry about returning to the first swap station visited. This could probably work for a great many people.

For longer trips involving not many swaps, there might need to be an additional pack rental charge. This could apply if one has a 60 kWh car, swaps up to an 85 kWh pack for a month-long trip, and proceeds to rely mostly or entirely on Superchargers until the final return leg.
 

RiverBrick

Active Member
Mar 23, 2014
2,508
1,719
Mount Washington Valley
Edit: Apparently I misunderstood. What I'd read in the past made me think CARB stopped the credits for battery swap entirely. Apparently they just limited to something that was being used. Tesla was getting credits for the swap technology since the cars are capable of it, even if they hadn't deployed it.

Thanks for this. I was under the same impression as you.

In any case, I hope someday CARB comes to its senses and adjusts the quick-refueling credits. Extra points for having a handful of stations, whether they be for hydrogen or electricity doesn't make sense.

- - - Updated - - -

I don't get it.

Whenever an EV manufacturer does something you don't get, ask yourself if their action earns ZEV Credit$.
 

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,281
3,556
San Diego
Couple thoughts come to mind after reading the article:

[1] Tesla made a profit last year for the first time, so does that mean future lessees will see the $7500 federal incentive passed on to them (in the form of cap cost reduction?? Up to now, Tesla has stated that the company has not realized any profits, thus they don't bother with the $7500.

[2] Battery swap: the car owner has to pay $60-$80 per swap?? That's like paying for gas. I'd imagine the battery swap stations will be rather empty, therefore lowering the ZEV credits for Tesla, as most owners will just spend a little time doing the "free" supercharging.

1.. Why would a business do this
2. Don't underestimate the time value of a tesla owner.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top