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.
- Are the Batteries owned by the company or by the Tesla owner?
- Will the original battery be required to be reinstalled back in the original Tesla S it came from?
- Can Tesla S owners swap in a larger P85 pack for trips and then come back and swap in their original pack?
- 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.