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A Clear way to fill up your Tesla faster than a Gas Car can with Gas

There are so many people that look at the recharging times of electric cars and swear they will never get one because of the time lag of a recharge. Even though you can fill up your Tesla Model S overnight as you sleep in your garage. Even though you can wake up with a full "tank" every single morning after a good night sleep. Even though, there is a nationwide fast charger network.

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Even though you can drive from Boston to Florida or from New York to California in a Tesla Model S, some people are still not satisfied with EV technology.

Step back a few years and note that Better Place had a technology that was the cornerstone of that company’s business model back in the Tesla Roadster days and it seems that Tesla has embraced it. It looks like there are California Air Resources Board (CARB) credits that are being given to manufacturers that break the 15 minute “fill up” barrier to at least 85% traction pack battery state of charge.

Well, leave it to some government incentives to create an impetus to actually create a faster way to re-energize the Tesla Model S (although I don’t think Tesla needed an excuse to go down this road). At this point, there is a test program being run out of California for battery swapping of Tesla S batteries.

According to recent posts in social media forums it appears to be that Tesla S owners are being invited to participate and there is a fee involved to participate. According to this video of a Tesla S battery swap, the swap is faster than filling up with gas and the Model S battery was swapped out in one minute and thirty three seconds.

As these tests progress, it will be interesting to see if more and more battery swapping stations will appear over time or if the Super Charger network still is the most promising technology going forward. Based on this opportunity, having the ability to swap your batteries raises a lot of questions.

For example:

  1. Are the Batteries owned by the company or by the Tesla owner?
  2. Will the original battery be required to be reinstalled back in the original Tesla S it came from?
  3. Can Tesla S owners swap in a larger P85 pack for trips and then come back and swap in their original pack?
  4. Will this test roll out to the East Coast so that NJ and NY Tesla S owners can participate?

All in all a very positive test program and looking forward to getting the results.

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John VonBokel (not verified)    June 5, 2015 - 6:07PM

1&2. You're effectively renting a battery. You swap yours back in on the way home.
3. No
4. Only if there's sufficient demand with the first pilot location.

bob (not verified)    June 15, 2015 - 10:23AM

Battery swap is the stupidest idea that just wont die. It is only clung to by the people still stuck in the century old gas-tank/gas-station mentality. Typical cars spend more than 21 hours a day parked somewhere usually at home and at work. Just plugging into a standard 120v outlet while parked can maintain over 80 miles daily range! Everytime you get in the car, it is FULL!

Park at an L2 plug and maintain over 200 miles a day of daily range...

Only a clueless gas junkie wouild ever conceive of such a ludicrous, inefficient process just to satisfy is steadfast refusal to cross the fence to the EV world and wake up to the fact that EV's are refueled while parked and out of sight and out of mind. Only the gas driver has to stand there to wait for refueling.

Oh, and if you are an interstate traveler that bought an EV for interstate travel and public charging, you bought the wrong car. for you.

John VonBokel (not verified)    June 17, 2015 - 12:29PM

In reply to by bob (not verified)

Bob, I think of battery swap as a way to get people over that fence to the EV world by showing them what is possible. Once they're there, they'll quickly see that daily charging is easier than a gas car, but long distance travel does still require some waiting on occasion*. Battery swap is one potential way to eliminate that hurdle (the others are faster charging rates and larger capacity batteries).

*I have 62k+ miles on my Model S, and have driven it from my home in St Louis as far as upstate NY, Miami, and Denver (separate trips, of course). I generally appreciate the more relaxed traveling pace that the charging stops have forced me to take, but I didn't anticipate that I would, so even for me, the potential of battery swap was comforting before I made my purchase.