After reading about the Supercharging wait times, figured I'd restart a thread asking Tesla to reconsider the Battery Swap program again!!
From what I understand, they sent out invitations to about 1% of Tesla owners in the L.A. and San Francisco areas to gauge interest. They wanted people to plan ahead and commit specifically to doing a swap at Harris Ranch. Based on just that 1%, they decided to scrap the program.
Being that many existing Superchargers are already getting overloaded, as Tesla continues to build more cars, the issue is only going to get worse. I think they're planning on at least 75,000 more vehicles next year between the Model S and X. What about when the Model 3 gets released and they plan on selling 500,000 of those per year!!
Tesla owners couldn't have been happy this weekend at Tejon Ranch with reported wait times of over an hour just to charge. Add that to the fact that the chargers were only charging at 90 +/- Miles per hour due to all of them being full and charge times took over 90 minutes. A far cry from the 30 minutes or less & 300+ MPH charge rates that are advertised.
Tesla markets the Supercharger network as being able to charge enough in 30 minutes or less to reach your destination or the next Supercharger. Owners reported being at Tejon Ranch for 3 hours.
I would think that, even if the 1% of Tesla owners they asked weren't interested in planning ahead, if Tesla actually had battery swap stations in place at the busiest Supercharging locations, they'd be very successful. Even if they only opened them on Fridays, Sundays & Holidays to keep their overhead down.
Even though few of the JUST ONE PERCENT of owners they asked were unwilling to commit ahead of time to a single time and location to swap their batteries, if the swap stations were already in place, I'm betting that many Tesla owners would take advantage of the service for the $40 to $50 "price of a tank of gas" as Musk stated, if it were sitting there and available to use.
Even if the Supercharger stalls were open, I still think most drivers would gladly pay the $40 to $50 for the convenience of not having to wait 30-60 minutes to charge their car. Especially after a long weekend and during a long drive home. I WOULD!!
Most Tesla owners accept the inconvenience of having to spend 30-60 minutes to "fill up" for the benefit of not having to pay for gas. But I think that will eventually wear off and become tiresome. Furthermore, there are many people out there who would love to buy a Tesla, but are NOT willing to be inconvenienced. The battery swap program would alleviate that concern and open up the brand to that many more potential owners.
Hopefully they'll reconsider. Possibly if they see that owners outside of the ONE PERCENT that they asked, are actually interested in it, they'll reconsider. Adding more Superchargers is likely not a good long term resolution. They take up a lot of real estate and require a lot of power. One Battery Swap station could do what 45 Supercharger stalls could do in an hour.