Short term lease for third battery pack for 85Kw long distance trips?

Short term lease for third battery pack for 85Kw long distance trips?

I hope Tesla makes it easy for 60Kw Tesla Owners to load a rented battery pack to make 85 Kw for the occasional long distance trip. This way the 95% of the time I drive less than 100 miles a day, I am not lugging around unnecessary weight.

olanmills | 22. September 2012

I don't think they're going to do this. If you have need of a bigger batter pack, then you should consider buying that.

Some years in the future, they are going to have higher capacity battery packs at better prices. We can hope that they will be compatible with the Model S 1.0, and so maybe you can buy an upgrade.

However, I really doubt they'll have some kind of rental program, at least in the short term. Maybe in the future, when there's tousands of owners, and if there will be lots of demand for this kind of service, it will make sense.

However, for the near term, I don't really think there will be that much demand for a battery swap/rental service.

mrspaghetti | 22. September 2012

I agree with Olanmills. Most of those actually buying the 85 kwh battery probably aren't going to do road trips that often, they're getting it so they don't have to hope other options will become available someday.

If you can afford it, get the big one now. Who cares about the weight anyway...

Docrob | 22. September 2012

I like the idea, why buy, pay for and carry around with you an 85kwh battery you only use a few trips a year? When you could buy and carry around a battery pack suited to your normal driving habits and then lease a long range battery for those few trips a year. As battery tech improves Tesla could cycle their old lease packs into superchargers or sell them as fixed power storage units to accompany the solar city products. This way the lease batteries are continuously upgraded, 500 miles? 700 miles? 1000? Who knows but you don't have to lock yourself in to a $40,000 purchase of today's tech.

Brian H | 23. September 2012

You are not carrying the battery pack, the battery pack is carrying you!

J King | 23. September 2012

Why nor encourage TM to provide a connection in one of the storage compartments that woould allow connection of a completely independent batterypack. Say 100 mile pack. then rent that pack when needed regardless of what batterypack is in your car. It would be another way to make the range issue go away.

I would be willing to buy such a pack and rent it to others to recover my investment. Perhaps we could buy shares in a battery pack sharing network.

J King | 23. September 2012

Should proof read before hitting submit. NOR should read NOT.

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

J King,

Additional batteries in the frunk or boot are likely not a good idea because:

1. It would affect handling because it would unbalance the car and raise the centre of gravity.

2. It would put additional stress on the suspension of the axle where the additional batteries were installed. This would likely overload that axle perhaps causing premature failure.

3. Cargo room would be reduced. Presumably a trip would be the time when you would use the extra battery and you'd need the extra room. True, you could get the room back with a roof rack, but that would probably reduce the range by more than the additional battery could provide.

I'm afraid the real solution to increased range without a charge is to wait for the next generation of batteries. In the meantime the supercharger network is the alternative. Let's hope they are installed along the routes you (and I) normally travel.

mrspaghetti | 23. September 2012

When you put gas in your current car, do you only put in enough to get to your next destination? Have you written your car manufacturer to ask for different gas tank sizes for rent/lease? Because otherwise you're carrying around a lot of extra fuel and/or taking up space that could be used to store something else.

I'm guessing you fill up all the way whenever you get gas, and you would quickly become annoyed if your gas tank did not have some excess capacity. People don't want to be bothered agonizing over exactly how far they're going on any given trip, and often you have to take unplanned trips.

Yes, the bigger battery costs more, but there's also a cost to not have it. And I don't think it would make sense for tesla to go to the trouble create something that most people don't want.

jerry3 | 23. September 2012


Of course, the difference here is that it only takes five minutes to fill the gas tank while it takes five hours to fill the electric car. And yes, I've actually asked for a larger gas tank on a couple of vehicles.

J King | 23. September 2012

Also, I bought the largest battery possible. would buy a bigger one if offered. Need to make 350 mile trips regularly. Want the ability to travel cross country in one very nice and expensive car.

All of the supposed restrictions can be planned for.

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

J King,

+1 I plan on making many trips with my Model S.

mrspaghetti | 23. September 2012

In case I didn't make my point clearly, I think it's too complicated to create a leasing scheme for what I'm guessing is a very small minority of drivers who want to swap back and forth between the different size battery packs. If you think you might need the range sometimes, get the big one. If you can't afford it, maybe the Model S is not for you.

J King | 23. September 2012

I bought the 85kw battery.
I am not talking about swaping out batteries. I am talking about a supplemental battery to extend range, for any battery pack that is purchased. Thus all supplemental packs would be the same size and capacity. In combination with super chargers, this scheme should eliminate range limitations. IMO

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

J King,

The logical place to put a supplementary battery of the type you're describing is in a trailer, and that adds it's own set of complications (it would require some major programming changes and a trailer hitch).

However, it's the only solution that is quick to install and isn't tied to a particular model.

My hope is that the supercharger network will actually have enough locations to be viable. The drive three hours, charge for half and hour, and repeat model that Elon mentioned sounds great. My concern is that unless you live in California or New York, there will be very few places you will be able to travel to on the network.

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

Alternatively, if they included tires in the four year plan, I'd take my chances that they wouldn't raise the rates the second four years.

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

Oops, wrong thread. Sorry

DouglasR | 23. September 2012


I like the trailer idea, but then instead of a battery, why not haul an electric generator, perhaps along with a fuel tank! And we could put the HOV sticker on the trailer so as not to mar the paint. ;)

jerry3 | 23. September 2012

Might as well get a PiP or Volt then and skip the hassle:-) In practice a generator would be quite expensive if it was made to automotive standards because of the pollution controls and other regulatory items. And if it was possible to make it without those kind of approvals it would become part of the problem rather than a solution (the pollution problem, not the range problem).

Understand I'm not keen on the trailer idea in the first place, but a trailer is a far better approach than putting temporary batteries in the frunk assuming you must have additional batteries.

My hope is that the supercharger network will live up to the hype.

DouglasR | 23. September 2012

Well, I wasn't serious about the generator, just as I assumed you weren't serious about the trailer.

A battery rental/swap is certainly a reasonable idea. It just won't happen in the near future for reasons that have been mentioned already. Heck, I think even the supercharger network is unlikely to be adequate for some time to come. Until there are a lot more EV's on the road, it won't make much economic sense to anyone but Tesla, and Tesla doesn't have the resources to set up a network that will work for everywhere we want to travel. Hope I'm wrong.

mrspaghetti | 23. September 2012


It doesn't have to cover all trips everyone would ever want/need to make. It just has to cover what most people need. I'd guess Tesla's approach makes the car feasible for >90% of those who can afford a car in the $80k price range. They can worry about the other 10% if the idea catches on and they have to start fighting with competitors for that last 10%.

DouglasR | 23. September 2012


I hope you're right. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow. But a lot of people buying this car don't take many long car trips, and for the trips they take, they can use a different car. I'm just saying it's doubtful that Tesla's supercharger network will be sufficient to permit most people to give up their ICEs, at least not for a few more years.

mrspaghetti | 23. September 2012

I agree with that. I'm assuming most buyers at this point have a second car that's IC.

Personally I plan to take my S on my occasional road trips from Houston to Austin (or less often, Houston to Dallas). If I go any farther than that I fly. I think I'm in the majority on that line of thinking. It's been a lot of years since I've been willing to strap on a diaper and white-knuckle drive a thousand miles without a significant stop [as in, a hotel], and I think most people on the market for a Model S are in my age group or older.

It's the same reason I plan to get rid of my motorcycle. I've had my adventures, now I want quiet comfort.

Docrob | 24. September 2012

I disagree with your criticisms regarding a battery in the frunk Jerry. The Model S battery is ~250 wh/kg so a battery to supply an additional 150 miles range would weigh ~ 150kg or approximately equal to 1.5 passengers, this weight would have a center of gravity at approximately the same height if not slightly lower then passengers. If the axle or vehicle handling characteristics couldn't handle that then it equally wouldn't be capable of handling passengers and their luggage. Air suspension is most able to be adjusted for changing loads. 150 kg in the frunk would not be an issue whatsoever. As for luggage space, yes it would be reduced but that's simply a trade off, people take thousands of holidays in ICE cars today without the benefit of a frunk, so if you chose a range extending battery then you would just have to cope with the rear boot.
There is no reason a frunk extender is not technically possible so the only real question is whether there would be enough to demand to justify establishing the hardware and support network for such a system, only time will answer that, and possibly the details of the capabilities of the superchargers.

kbekaert | 24. September 2012

the guys from worked out the trailer idea...

mrspaghetti | 24. September 2012

The supplemental battery pack in the frunk is a reasonable idea. I'd see TM making a connection for that before any sort of swapping scheme. That would even open up the possibility of third parties making frunk battery add-ons if there were sufficient demand.

But I think battery technology will make it a non-issue before too many more years anyway.

Sudre_ | 24. September 2012

A 150 mile battery extension is going to have to be more than a 40kW battery that Tesla already offers on the base car now?

How do you figure that would fit into the frunk with all the proper cooling equipment so the battery doesn't over heat?

The range extending battery would not be able to supercharge.
The range extending battery would not be able to drive the performance inverter.
The range extending battery would not be able to do 0-60 on anything but 6.5 seconds that Tesla indicates on the SPEC page.

If you own an S with a larger battery it will require more than just a hook up to the car. It will need to tie into the battery cooling system, power system and communicate with the inverter to limit power to a 6.5 acceleration. I don't even know if the regen is different depending on the battery.

It's not a bad idea but there are some technical hurtles that will prevent it from happening thru a third party any time in the near future. I don't think Tesla will be interested in creating something like this for several years since the cars are already selling better than any other EV. It seems obvious the range choices will suffice for now.

mrspaghetti | 24. September 2012

@Sudre_ +1

Excellent points

DouglasR | 24. September 2012

I would hope that any resources TM might otherwise sink into extension batteries are devoted to fleshing out the supercharger network instead. As a practical matter, that is the most efficient thing TM can do to boost sales and expand its market share. It would even make sense, I believe, to open this network to any future (non-Tesla) BEVs that can make use of the high-amp facilities. If there are enough of these vehicles on the road, the sector will reach "critical mass," and third parties will find it profitable to begin installing super charging stations. At that point, range anxiety -- the biggest hurdle to widespread BEV adoption -- will become a thing of the past.

Brian H | 24. September 2012

The SC network is revealed! 90+ in the US (incl. 3 in Canada) by the end of 2013, starting from 6 installed already in CA. Additional in Urp and Asia. Then another 75 or so in the US within 5 yrs., another 12 in Canada, many (?) elsewhere.

Cheap to install, run by Solar City, free power for Model S owners (free LD power for life if you buy an S - quite a sales incentive!).

gocken1 | 26. September 2012

Brian H please stop using Urp. Do you have something against Europe? You are the one who obsessively corrects all the spelling and grammar and this may send a bad message. According to the online dictionaries URP means to "Vomit, throw up".

Timo | 26. September 2012

Is that what Brian H means with urp? I could not figure that out of his earlier writings (I don't read his messages anymore). I actually thought that that did mean some province in Canada or some state in US.

That's one more reason to hate Brian H.

stephen.kamichik | 26. September 2012

Is the H in Brian H for hate?

Volker.Berlin | 26. September 2012

No. It's for hubris.

mrspaghetti | 26. September 2012

Can't we all just get along...?

J King | 26. September 2012

The battery pack seems pointless with the supercharger network. Really happy with the concept.

mrspaghetti | 26. September 2012

Yeah, this thread may as well be dead.

Brian H | 26. September 2012

Heh. Just a funny way of phonetically representing how many Americans pronounce "Europe". Other implications are optional.