Supercharger Announcement!

Supercharger Announcement!

Supercharger announcement will come the week of May 13-17. Combined with the Q1 results and outlook, this announcement should really hit the market well going into the June shareholders meeting.

Might actually see the " tsunami of hurt" very soon.

Can't wait!

TS | 17 maj 2013

May 17th today . Whats up?

jk2014 | 17 maj 2013

Bumped to next week. Got sidetracked raising a billion.

teddyg | 18 maj 2013

Anybody have any guess as to what the supercharger announcement will be?
Consensus seems to be that it will be a move from 90 to 120 kW chargers but there is also Elon's comment about "There is a way for the Model S to recharge faster than a gasoline powered vehicle can refuel" too.
This has to mean battery swap stations. Right?

I also happen to believe that there will be an announcement of at least 10-20 more supercharging locations either already operational or very close to it.
Maybe a charging network from New York to LA will have been opened up? Maybe New York to Florida as well?
Once the Tesla can travel cross country in pretty much the same time as an ICE vehicle it will silence the naysayers pretty quickly...may even lead to another short squeeze. I bet a lot of shorts have piled on again after the big run-up in the stock expecting it to crash back to earth. However a big supercharging announcement could send them scrambling to cover yet again.

We shall see. Holding on to my shares regardless. In this for the long haul and long term Tesla is a bargain at $90

SonomaDriver | 18 maj 2013

Check the other threads about rumored SuperCharging stations. There appear to be some going in near Chicago, a couple more in California, one in Florida and likely one or two in the Dallas/Austin/Houston triangle.

I haven't heard anything of 120kWh DC charging though, that would be new and welcome news.

jk2014 | 19 maj 2013

There are many rumors to battery swap option being announced soon. I initially thought was bogus, but now am seeing it being a possibility. (maybe be a separate announcement even.)

I don't think it will be for individual customers using it for personal use. I think battery swap will be an option for car services/professional fleets exclusively.

Car services/professional fleets will own/lease a swap machine. Buy additional batteries from Tesla. As one battery runs out, they will swap out with a charged battery and drive off out of the garage to continue their shift. This could work as a business model because the need to keep cars on the road with minimal refueling time is essential to these type of companies.

Private use customers don't need to swap. They can fill up at home at night. And if they need to go long distance, they can use the supercharger network.

Jolinar | 20 maj 2013

I also think that battery swap will be 5th announcement. However I don't think it's wise long-term idea. Maybe it will make higher short-term or mid-term profits for Tesla from ZEV credits, but it will be too compicated going forward to next-gen vehicles which will have to have same battery size otherwise they won't be able to use it.

jk2014 | 20 maj 2013

Battery swap is looking like a better idea the more I think about it. They will have to produce at least double the amount of battery packs, maybe many times more.

This will drastically increase the orders from suppliers, specifically panasonic. Further reduce the cost/kwh faster. (increase MS/MX margins drastically, also get to effective geniii price point sooner)

Could charge a yearly (time limited) fee to have battery swap option available at all supercharger stations as well as Tesla service stations.

Battery swap would probably be a battery lease program. Can quit after each contract and battery would be permanently installed and begin a regular warranty as is today.

Then when the batteries are done with automotive use, can be repurposed and sold as energy storage units. Very high margin returns here.

This is starting to sound brillant actually.

olanmills | 20 maj 2013

It still sounds overly complicated. A battery with two or three times the range would be much more practical.

As you mentioned the only scenario where I see it being really valuable is like for a fleet of taxis or something, but still given that the batteries are so expensive, it would be like keeping spare unused cars in your garage. I mean, why would you keep a stock of extra batteries which probably each cost the same as a Prius?

jk2014 | 20 maj 2013

Costs are coming down as they purchase more batteries. Still, near term benefit most likely only in taxi fleets since they might only need to buy a coupe extra battries per ten or more vehicles...

Long term, tesla might be able to strike a deal with existing gas station franchies. Current station locations are valuable. Might develop a business model here in some way that could look more attractive then selling gas.

rlarno | 20 maj 2013

I'd love to see battery switching be done. But like jk2014, I also believe it can only work with a battery lease system. Otherwise it does not make a lot of sense. With the lease system, Tesla does retain the battery and can indeed increase the production (and drive costs down) all the while reclaiming the 'worn-out' batteries for the second-stage market (grid, business, home energy storage).

But I'm not convinced yet, as there is a lot more infrastructure/investment needed to implement it. Perhaps also why they went for the extra capital raise. So I'd first would like to hear/see/read how they are going to tackle it. As I have read (on the forum somewhere) swapping a battery would involve a lot of screws, cables and tubes (liquid coolant) to be handled. It is not like swapping a phone battery!

Bubba2000 | 20 maj 2013

Tesla has priced the supercharger option at $2,000 with the 60 KW-hr battery, and it is included with the 85 KW-hr battery. Let us assume that Tesla is going to deploy 200 SC station nationwide- with 6 chargers each. Each station costs $250,000. Total cost over 2 years = $50M. In the next 2 years, Tesla could sell 50,000 Model S+X, though I think they will exceed that number.
Average Supercharger Capital Cost/Car = Total Cost of Superchargers/Number of cars sold in 2 years
= 50,000,000/50,000 = $1,000/car

If 3% of the cars use the SC/day in the highway, that is 50,000x3%= 1,500 cars. Each charge should be about 50 KW-hr on the average. At 12 cents/KW-hr that is $6/car or $9,000/day or $3.3M/year. Alternately, it would mean about $60/car/year or $600/10 years, approximately.

The Supercharger deployment certainly makes economic sense and Tesla can add sites and chargers every year. It will also be marketing with the big Tesla signs at the Supercharger sites. Now that Tesla has $800M, I expect Elon Musk to deploy SCs in significant quantities.

SamO | 20 maj 2013

DELAYED UNTIL NEXT WEEK per elon musk twitter

This week (Wednesday) will be the loan payoff.

Perhaps there will be a big ceremony with Obama?

Publisher's House enormous cartoon check for $450,000,000?

Skotty | 24 maj 2013

So where is the announcement? Another week delay?

GeekEV | 24 maj 2013

You do realize it's still the same week, right?

carlgo | 25 maj 2013

Battery swapping makes no sense. People are going to drive to a repair facility and then a team of people is going to lift up the car, unplug a bunch of stuff, use jacks and then put in a battery...this is going to take less time than a Supercharging session? And compare the costs of say 200 Supercharging stations to those of repair facilities...not even close.

And these facilities are going to be open 24/7? No. In more outlying areas? No.

Now this could be done on the GenIII if the battery was designed to slide in and out and a robotic kiosk could do the work, but where does that leave the S and X?

And, as was correctly pointed out, Tesla would have to make a bunch more batteries in order to have them in stock and ready to go.

Forget swaps, I think. Look for improvements in what already exists. It will be fine like that.

Bubba2000 | 25 maj 2013

Superchargers can meet majority of our needs. Less than 3% of trips will need SC. Place SC 100 miles apart, so charging is quicker and the driver can speed up. Max cost for 400 SCs is100M.

Anyway, Annilated H-TiO2 supercapacitors are coming.

Skotty | 25 maj 2013

"You do realize it's still the same week, right?"

My mistake. I thought money matters were only delaying the announcement by one week. But I see the post about the announcement being delayed a week was said after it had already been delayed a week, making the delay 2 weeks. I sure hope no money matters come up next week; while it's been big news, it's not nearly as exciting to me as updates on the supercharger network.

Brian H | 25 maj 2013

The operation would be robotized, not manual, but the capital and inventory costs are daunting. Maybe Elon has come up with a methodology and business model for making it work, but no one has revealed plausible details yet.

carlgo | 25 maj 2013

Yes. If the S batteries were designed to snap or slide in, then we would think a robotic solution was planned for. Doesn't appear to be the case.

Could be done with the X or GenIII, but by then we would expect somewhat better batteries, lots of Supercharging stations and a way to charge quickly. This will negate the need for any routine battery swaps.

Brian H | 25 maj 2013

From the beginning, Tesla batteries have been designed for rapid robotic interchange. It doesn't make economic sense for Tesla to do so on a large scale.

carlgo | 25 maj 2013

The battery is likely to be one of the last major parts installed on the line. If a robot put in, one could take it out. Humans probable have to deal with the connectors and coolant lines.

Tesla wouldn't have to do much to make the replacement fast and semi-automatic (if they wish to actually deploy the replacement machinery).

Owners and stockholders certainly hope that this isn't done on a large scale because that would only happen if there were problems!

JPPTM | 26 maj 2013

If you've been to the factory for a tour, you will see that much of final assembly is done by hand with machine/robotic assistance. The batteries are set onto motorized automatically guided carts and move to final assembly where they are lifted into place under the car, then bolted into place by a team of assembly workers. There are a bunch of bolts to connect, plus electrical lines and coolant lines. Not that quick and easy a swap as currently engineered.

carlgo | 26 maj 2013

I need to go on a factory tour. I love stuff like that. It would also be great to be able to watch your vehicle being assembled on-line, as you can with the BMW X5 you order.

Your observations pretty much do away with the battery swab idea. The upcoming announcement on Supercharging stations and fast charging is eagerly awaited because the future depends on that.

JPPTM | 27 maj 2013

Factory tours are scheduled, usually in conjunction with delivery. They allow 4 people per reservation/vehicle on a tour. Go during the week (not weekend) as they idle some of the factory on weekends. Note that not all processes are running any one day. For example, they do sheet aluminum stamping in batches, and stack the pieces up on carts. They have only a 'small' and 'large' stamping line, and swap dies as needed. We saw the 'large' (...huge) stamping line operating--very impressive. No access to paint (separate building) and 2nd floor battery area is top secret.

angstrom01 | 27 maj 2013

Has anyone actually seen the internals of one of the battery packs at the assembly line?

I know someone posted pictures a few months ago to the forums that was supposedly the internals of the battery pack, but aside from that I've seen nothing.

angstrom01 | 27 maj 2013
NumberOne | 27 maj 2013

Just noticed this article from yesterday. It seems that the battery swap pioneer 'Better Place' just went under Tesla would not build an expensive supercharging network if they felt battery swapping was feasible.

Brian H | 28 maj 2013

battery swabbing is easy. Just take a big damp mop, and ...


liviu | 28 maj 2013

The big announcement could be SUPER-SWAP:

The battery is designed to be swapped by an auto equipment (all robots).
- the car can be raise just inches and the battery is completely accesible for a robot platform beneath.
- the car is recognized by the station using wifi (no special card check)
- all the bolts are orientated down
- the bolts can be blow with air to make them clean if the car is durty/snow;
- all bolts are the same type with wide heads
- the bolts are very long and the water can not rust the screw thread. so no screw will remain stuck. (hope)
- the front connection to the battery is for cooling and the connection is orientated up and beneath it is a mark (color dark) with a special bolt (see in the 4-th picture on red arrow from ) ; I think that bolt is used to seal the coolant in the battery from the rest of the car cooling sistem.
- the electronic/power connections are orientated up in the back of the battery ( )
- the battery can be detached (going direction down) from the car while it is suspended on 4 special reinforced marked points from those 2 sides
- the car has a separate 12V battery to operate while the big battery is off the car
- the cabin floor is not part from the battery, the cabin remains sealed during the swap (air conditioning off during that).

The SUPER-SWAP functionality will came with a price. You can buy this option like the supercharger option. (I think the price will be 3000$ or more)
Not everyone will want swapping, they will became attached emotional to the all car including the battery (they will use supercharging).
I do not know/think if the 60 model will can swap the battery to the station too. The station should have your type model battery when you want to swap it (more batterys used on stations but it can be done). I think that the station should have at least 4 to 8 battery of every kind (60 and 85 for daily use). (45-50 minutes to charge it full = the total number of swaps/batterys on that station) At the begginning, 2-3 battery of every kind should be enough but after 1-2 years more that 10 will be needed in key locations.
The swap time I estimate to be no more than 3 minutes. All passengers can stay in the car during the process. (nice and warm in the winter - no car can beat that)
I think that in the future the good news will bring the 120Kw supercharger too; and you choose to swap very fast or charge fast.

For example if SuperSwap will be placed at 100-120km distance between them, using a 60 model you can blast with 160-180Km/h (that means 95-105 miles/h ) all legal speeds in Germany Autobahn, and swap battery at every Tesla SuperSwap ALL FOR FREE. (the range for the 60 model at 95miles/h is like 100 miles, no air-conditioning) The model 85 can run 150 miles with 95miles/h speed or almost 200 miles with 80 miles/h speed (the RECOMMENDED speed in Germany for Autobahn) and charge it or swap battery at every 2 "legs" on a trip (each leg 100-120km = 60-70miles)
Tesla Motors will update in near future the navigation package (via air) and calculate all the charging time or swap and all those necesary for you; so you must enter only the destination for your trip.

SuperSwap will make the TESLA MODEL S the perfect car for a trip because is SUPER FAST and ALL FREE. (after you buy the car forever)

On the Germany Autobahn the rest points with large parking and restaurants are placed every 100-120km on important route/autobahn (only parking are placed every 50-60 km) (see

All the above are only assumptions made by ME.
I could mention those after a close obsevation of the photos on web and the tesla motors web page and blogs.

TeslaRocks | 28 maj 2013

I doubt the public will like the idea of battery swap, blindly trading in the most valuable part of their car for what could be a lemon or an old tired one. People like to be able to say "mine". The procedure also sounds complicated, or if it's not, a thief passing by your car could steal it as well... which would make an awesome revenue stream for organized crime. If they can get into a locked Audi, they can steal anything if it's worth their trouble. So battery swap might work in theory, but in this reality it makes no sense.

I believe that with continued progress in battery performance (and lower cost), better energy efficiency of car, and more efficient solar panels, there will be a point where it will make sense to put solar panels on an efficient car with great batteries and this will change everything. Maybe the driver will be able to pedal, too, and get a little exercise if he feels like it. People pay for gym memberships, so why not get your workout on your way home instead, for free?

SamO | 28 maj 2013


Your observations and suppositions closely mirror my own.

Your plan fits perfects, especially doing Super Swap.

You also managed to get over the hump of making the financials work well.

Buy the base car. Add $3-5000 for Supercharger and Superswap with 120 kWh charging speed. Or just Supercharger if you won't need swap.

The battery is treated like a lease which allows you to keep your current size or upgrade as larger capacity batteries become available. Since the batteries are projected to provide 500,000 miles or longer, pack failure is not a big issue and neither is pack depletion which can be recycled through SolarCIty.

Brian H | 28 maj 2013

Schemes requiring revision of the MS frame are not on, and reversion to the BP "lease" idea are also unsupportable.

Passing thieves who can carry away 500 kg are rare.

TimHuey | 28 maj 2013

We have THIEVES in South Florida that have stolen several GIANT Air conditioning units from the tops of strip mall buildings and schools. If it's valuable... in the words of Jane's Addiction, "It's mine, all mine!"

aaronw2 | 28 maj 2013

It might not be too difficult to reduce the value of stolen battery packs. All Tesla has to do is query the serial number which is likely encoded in the pack's computer and if a stolen battery pack is found it can be rendered unusable.

liviu | 29 maj 2013

I am glad that I'm not alone!

I think that Tesla battery pack is securely protected and can only be used on Tesla cars. The battery can brick it self if is off the car after couple of minutes (necesary for swap).

The best remark is that not all the customers will want Super-Swap. They will think is bad to change your batery with one that have no idea about it's history (charging time; cycles; temperature stored and others). No problem, those will choose to use 90 or the future 120kw supercharger. You can go in a trip using charging technology very easy, but just add some extra time if it is a long trip.

I have a trip scenario to evidence it using SuperSwap and legal speeds in Germany Autobahn (every stop means a SuperSwap for maxim 5 minutes):
Munchen (south Germany) to Kobenhavn (Danemark)

First is with 200 km leg using 85 model
->superswap: 160km/h (95miles/h) 6-7 h driving time and 1h break; not 10hours like google display (only the driving time ).
->supercharging: 160km/h (95miles/h) 6-7h driving time and we need to add the charging time equivalent of 4 charged battery at 80% minimum (necesary for 200km at 160km/h), that results adding like 4 times the 45-50 minutes that equals 3h and 15min. That means 2 hours more.

Second is with 100-150 km leg
->superSwap with top 190km/h (110miles/h) and with a total driving time 5-6 hours (950km road/190km/h). Can be done with 30 min break = 6 swaps and the results are blasting.
->supercharging with 190km/h run must make 6 charging to 80% with a total charging time of 5 hours.

The shortest times to compare:
=>Normal ICE driving with 130km/h will take now 10h plus 1-2h break
=>Tesla Model S and Super-Swap at 190km/h will take 5-6h plus 1h break
=>Tesla Model S and Supercharging at 160km/h will take 6-7h plus 3h and 15 min of charging (brake time is included in charging)

Normal speed for autobahn with a performance ICE car are like 160-180km/h and this car must be better than that.
Tesla has no problem with high speeds. The 14kRPM@130mph are normal speed for electric all magnet motors (maybe 40-60kRPM will be a problem without efficiency) Remember that the Tesla Model S electric motor is not the most efficient electric motor from the electric car industry (see The Tesla electric motor is very powerfull and efficient (in this order).
The 110MPH is software limit and is made for your safety. If you go crazy and push it hard without the limit maybe 150MPH will be the limit for 400HP. (After 200km/h every 100 more will need twice the power; see veiron)

explicit links for trips:
p.s.: I eliminate the fairy boat waiting and passing time so only 950km road and supercharging/swap stations should be present on every side.

liviu | 30 maj 2013

SuperSwap proof here at 25min and 25 sec watch closely

liviu | 30 maj 2013

It is called "battery pack swap station" and he is looking for campanies to build those stations.

Benz | 30 maj 2013

@ liviu

It indeed was an idea to do it like that a number of years ago. But I thought they had abandoned this idea. Have they picked it up again? I don't think they have actually. But that's my opinion.

carlgo | 30 maj 2013

Brian H

Ha, you think I wrote "swab" instead of "swap" by mistake... I'll explain this next month or so.

hgottipati | 30 maj 2013

Alright, today they announced the expansion of superchargers. What I am wodering is how can Tesla provide FREE charging in the entire country for life? Assuming, people start buying teslas and hundreds of supercharging stations around the globe, is that even possible?

Benz | 30 maj 2013

Because there are going to be sold Tesla EV's in the millions my friend. Start getting used to that idea.

Mike_E | 30 maj 2013

I think it is because they are installing Solar Generating Capacity concurrently with the Super Chargers that equals or exceeds the electricity used by the Super Chargers - so they are making money on selling electricity back into the grid and don't need to make money charging the Tesla customers.


SamO | 30 maj 2013

He said "pack swap is NOT brilliant"

That means he's going to go for a quick pack for extended range

tpmeyer | 30 maj 2013

The nearest ones to Chicago are Rockford and Gary? Really? How did these locations get selected??

ian | 30 maj 2013

I still have my doubts as to whether Supercharging will be free for the GenIII. Maybe with the shear volume of units sold it will be financially feasible. I guess I'll find out in a few years.

GeekEV | 30 maj 2013

@tpmeyer - Supercharging is intended for inter-city travel, not intra-city use. Having on actually in Chicago doesn't make much sense because it isn't really a stop on the way anywhere... Of course, I don't live in the area so I *could* be wrong.

Benz | 30 maj 2013

What about Alaska and Hawai?

Benz | 30 maj 2013

How is Tesla Motors going to announce when which Supercharger location has gone live?

Brian H | 30 maj 2013

1. Solar City pays for all the electricity, not Tesla Motors. I erects the solar arrays and sells the power to the utilities (which is, after all, its core business) and generates more than the SuperChargers will use over the course of the year. Thus, the power costs Tesla and the drivers nothing.

All these attempts to explain "free" by analysing car costs are irrelevant.

2. "... is not a brilliant [new] idea ..." means it didn't take any creativity to come up with swapping, it's much older than (e.g.) Better Place, the recently departed; the problem is the economics. He may have a way to entirely or partially do an end run around that, but a year or so ago said, "No one has come up with a workable business model" for it. The metal-air supplement may be a workable variant.

Brian H | 30 maj 2013

typo: "It erects ..."