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Whatever happened to the plan for battery swapping on the go?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Darren Donovan, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Darren Donovan

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    I recall Tesla was gonna allow owners to swap batteries when theirs run low, instead of waiting to charge at a SC station. IIRC, it was planned as an automated procedure. I did a search but didn't see any relevant info.
    Thanks,
     
  2. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    it died a timely death from being unfeasible
     
  3. Darren Donovan

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    Why was it deemed unfeasible? Mechanical? Financial? Logistics?
     
  4. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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  5. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Here's the thread: Harris Ranch is getting first battery swap station

    Some people did find it useful. When I was at Harris Ranch last month, it looked like it hadn't been used in some time. Some reasons it didn't succeed:

    1) Only one station anywhere and by invite only
    2) Not completely automated, required staff and an appointment
    3) Required driver to come back the same way to pick up original battery pack
    4) Most people like to stop for at least 10-15 minutes anyway, so doesn't make much sense to pay $80 when Superchargers right next door are free
     
  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    I think this covers it. in addition swapping a battery from my car which I know it's history to a random battery with unknown history is not something I would want to do
     
  7. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    Did it really? I had not ever heard that it stopped. From that thread, people were using it up through December of 2015, but there hadn't been any posts with updates about it since then, so I didn't know if it was still operating or not.
     
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  8. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    wow, exactly where are these swap stations?
     
  9. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I used the Harris Ranch battery swap station for two trips in late 2015 and I know it was still operational as of June 20th of this year since I had a confirmed appointment for that date. Unfortunately we had to cancel that trip due to a family emergency so I wasn't able to complete the swap. I had hoped to use the swap station on the trip we are currently on, but we aren't going through Harris Ranch on the way back and you have to return the loaner battery on the return trip.

    My main motivations for using the battery swap was that it was a relatively cheap way to save several thousand miles of wear and tear on my existing battery and to get a battery with a little less degradation to minimize time spent charging at RV parks and other L2 chargers while traveling far from the nearest supercharger (I have 80,000 miles on my car and it chargers up to 255 rated miles right now so a new battery charged up overnight shaves about 20 minutes off these slow charging stops).

    If Tesla updated the software in the car to allow quick swaps to batteries with significantly higher capacities and put swap stations at busy service centers near where a lot of Tesla owners live, I bet a lot of people would love to borrow a new 100 kWh battery for road trips. Having the swap stations near where people live would make scheduling the inbound and outbound swaps MUCH easier than it is with the current station.

    The swap technology actually seemed to work pretty well the times I used it and Mark Brooks was fantastic to deal with. But I think borrowing a bigger battery for trips is much more compelling than saving a few minutes of charging at Harris Ranch.
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Maybe also because the newer battery technology might not be swappable into older cars. It was a terrible idea to begin with.
     
  11. bro1999

    bro1999 Member

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    CARB changed the rules on ZEV credits and battery swapping, so Tesla ended up not receiving the amount of ZEV credits for battery-swappable S's compared to what they initially expected. As the ZEV credit incentive for making the cars battery-swappable more or less died, so did any plans of expanding battery swap stations.

    Simply a $$$ decision.
     
  12. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Demand for battery swaps ended up being a lot lower than they anticipated. Supercharging turned out to be Good Enough™ for most drivers.
     
  13. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    I seem to recall that the addition of the titanium shields made it difficult, if not impossible, to implement the automated battery swapping technology shown at the initial reveal (where two Tesla batteries were swapped in the time it took to fill a single gas tank), so they had to do it manually at Harris Ranch and that's why they had to do it by appointment to ensure staff are on hand when needed. Not being able to use this service on-demand likely did not help with its utilization rate.
     
  14. ddimit

    ddimit Member

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    Rumor has it it was going to be a one off thing in CA for Tesla to meet the requirements for a fast fueling option for credits from the CARB
     

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