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Will the model 3 have swappable battery packs?

Oil4AsphaultOnly

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Mar 14, 2015
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Sorry if this was already addressed somewhere else, but my google-foo failed to find a match. I used this google search string:
model 3 battery swap site:teslamotorsclub.com

So on to the title topic. Will the model 3 have a swappable battery pack? I am optimistically hoping for one.

- a swappable pack would be easier to automatically build, as different pack sizes won't need different robotic programming
- The Tesla semi has to have swappable packs to facilitate long delivery routes with minimal wait time
- Tesla has always de-risked new features by debuting them on another platform first, and having swappable packs on a model 3 would make deploying more swap-stations less "risky" prior to Tesla semi-truck availability. The model 3 won't sink/swim without swap-stations, so deploying and developing the swap-stations in-situ wouldn't be a problem for model 3 sales.

Or are the cost goals too tight to make swappable packs and option? I think the titanium shield as an afterthought really hampered the pack swap capabilities of the model S. There's a demand for it (maybe not as great as supercharger, but it is there), but the current execution leaves much to be desired.
 

BluestarE3

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No. The sole swapping station for Model S didn't get many takers, so no reason to believe it would be any different for Model 3. Aside from the cost of getting a battery swap, there's also the logistical inconvenience of having to get back your original pack. Tesla's infrastructure dollars are better spent on building out more Superchargers and Service Centers.
 
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Oil4AsphaultOnly

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No. The sole swapping station for Model S didn't get many takers, so no reason to believe it would be any different for Model 3. Aside from the cost of getting a battery swap, there's also the logistical inconvenience of having to get back your original pack. Tesla's infrastructure dollars are better spent on building out more Superchargers and Service Centers.

Did Tesla say "no", or is that your thoughts on the matter?

If it's your thoughts, how does that address the view that the current problems with the swap station are with the execution (5 mins for manual swapping, and scheduled in advance as opposed to being swapped opportunistically - e.g. holiday lines at the superchargers) and thus not a reflection of true demand?
 

rypalmer

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Aug 22, 2014
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The customer experience with battery swapping stations is terrible. More Superchargers are the answer, not swapping.

That being said, your original post confuses two separate issues. Of course batteries will be "swappable" in a sense that they can be removed from a vehicle and replaced at the Service Centre.

> a swappable pack would be easier to automatically build, as different pack sizes won't need different robotic programming

This part makes no sense to me.
 

Oil4AsphaultOnly

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Mar 14, 2015
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The customer experience with battery swapping stations is terrible. More Superchargers are the answer, not swapping.

That being said, your original post confuses two separate issues. Of course batteries will be "swappable" in a sense that they can be removed from a vehicle and replaced at the Service Centre.

> a swappable pack would be easier to automatically build, as different pack sizes won't need different robotic programming

This part makes no sense to me.

To clarify, I was contrasting this with non-swappable packs that are integrated with the chassis. By not having swap capabilities, the coolant ducts and connections, as well as the battery pack housing would be simpler and cheaper than designing in mating interfaces for coolant and power connectors and attachment points for securing the battery pack to the chassis. Think bolt battery pack versus model s.

And yes, the current customer experience is bad, but Tesla originally planned on making it a 90-second affair, and people were genuinely excited about it. The titanium shield changed all that. That's why it seems to be an execution issue now. Make it possible for the 90-second impromptu swap and I feel that the demand would reflect that. To bluestar's point, it won't be cheap, but would it really be a poor use of Tesla's R&D?
 

BluestarE3

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Did Tesla say "no", or is that your thoughts on the matter?

If it's your thoughts, how does that address the view that the current problems with the swap station are with the execution (5 mins for manual swapping, and scheduled in advance as opposed to being swapped opportunistically - e.g. holiday lines at the superchargers) and thus not a reflection of true demand?
Don't know if you've participated in or have read this thread, but it has a lot of discussion and real-world experiences with battery swapping at Harris Ranch:
Harris Ranch is getting first battery swap station
 
I think it's fair to assume the battery in Model III will be designed for relatively quick removal and replacement - it's enormously helpful for manufacturing and service efficiency, and those quick, locating disconnects for wires and cooling are already designed in Model S/X.

However, as others have said, it's the commercial aspects of swap that are the relative hard part. It's not the extra few minutes to remove a shield (which could happen in probably 30 seconds with robotic screw guns for each fastener) it's the reality and economics of giving up your battery for another in exchange for reduced wait time, which in actuality is not important.

I Supercharged my way from SF to LA and back this weekend and I couldn't once get a coffee and take a bathroom break before the car told it was time to go. I'm the slow one!
 
I don't think it would be financially doable.

In order to make the battery swap a viable alternative to supercharging they would need to build almost as many swap stations as SC locations, that cost alone would be prohibitive - you could probably build several, multi-charger SC locations for the cost of one swap center. They would also have to be staffed 24/7, another cost that SC do not have, not to mention heating, cooling, lights, insurance, and taxes. If you really want the wait time to be just couple of minutes you're looking at several manned bays per swap station, at least dugin busy times. Another large expense would be in building all of the battery packs that would be needed to stock the stations, that would be thousands of packs.

Build out the SC network, that's the way to go, Sure it might take longer to charge but I'd bet most people are ready stop for a half an hour every four hours of driving anyway.
 
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I can't see it happening for the 3 any time soon. 200+ miles is plenty for 3/S/X drivers probably 95% of the time. I really can't see Tesla investing in many thousands of extra battery packs (particularly with Panasonic already stating that they may have trouble meeting demand on batteries for Model 3 and Powerpack) for these models to be stored for swapping, plus costs of creating robotics to install them across the country for sedans and SUVs that would make use of it 5% of the time.

Plus, tesla owners paid a hefty price for their batteries. They won't want to swap their 6 month old battery for one that has already degraded 10%, especially those of us who wouldn't be swapping often.

It is more likely that they come out with this option when their semi-truck debuts. With those being driven for 15 hours a day, and time literally being money in their case, I could see a quick swap batteries being an option companies will pay for -- essentially renting power for their truck.
 
Since most people like to stop every couple hours to eat/snack and pee and whatnot (especially those of us with little kids), I'm not sure that a quick swap of a battery is all that beneficial.

For the few people that like to drive for many, many hours without stopping, maybe you could just rent a Tesla at a SC, drive to the next SC, hop in an already charged Tesla, and be on your way? With more autonomous driving, I suppose long stretches of driving on the interstate with very quick breaks won't be so bad.
 

Oil4AsphaultOnly

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Mar 14, 2015
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Don't know if you've participated in or have read this thread, but it has a lot of discussion and real-world experiences with battery swapping at Harris Ranch:
Harris Ranch is getting first battery swap station

Thanks for that link, I had read it before, but stopped following sometime last year. I'll stop posting on this thread, and follow that one.

Thank you all for your feedback!
 

BluestarE3

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Apr 2, 2016
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Actually, that's not true. The folks who were enrolled in the beta program at Harris Ranch said that they often had difficultly scheduling an appointment because demand was so high.
Just going by what Elon said about the demand for this service:
"We have the LA-to-San Francisco pack swap capability in place, and I believe all Model S owners in the California area have been invited at this point to try it out. And what we’re seeing is a very low take rate for the pack swap station. So we did an initial round of invitations, where we did basically like 200 invitations, and I think there were a total of four or five people that wanted to do that, and they all did it just once. So, okay, it’s clearly not very popular. And then we said, okay, let’s expand that invitation to all customers, but I would expect that all customers roughly behave like that initial sample group.

It’s just, people don’t care about pack swap. The Superchargers are fast enough that if you’re driving from LA to San Francisco, and you start a trip at 9AM, by the time you get to, say, noon, you want to stop, and you want to stretch your legs, hit the restroom, grab a bite to eat, grab a coffee, and be on your way, and by that time, the car is charged and ready to go, and it’s free. So, it’s like, why would you do the pack swap? It doesn’t make much sense.

We built the pack swap into the car because we weren’t sure if people would want to choose the pack swap or not. We thought people would prefer Supercharging, but we weren’t sure, so that’s why we built the pack swap capability in. And based on what we’re seeing here, it’s unlikely to be something that’s worth expanding in the future, unless something changes."

Maybe the reason people were having trouble scheduling appointments was because of low supply (few appointment slots offered) rather than high demand? Just a thought.
 
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