Battery Swap Discussion

Battery Swap Discussion

What happened to the following forum topic?

That link doesn't work for me, and it was a great discussion about the battery swap capability of the MS.

Attn. Moderators: I will delete my order if you guys are deleting posts that are negative to Tesla. Posts should only be deleted if they're obscene or inappropriate.

DallasTXModelS | December 8, 2013

Trench is just where the high voltage conduits run to the superchargers the giant square is where the transformers and safety shutoffs are generally located.

DallasTXModelS | December 8, 2013

Sorry this comment belonged on the next thread Gilroy expansion.

SamO | December 8, 2013

What is deleting an order?

Cancel an order? Because an unmoderated discussion forum topic was deleted by users?

Tesla doesn't need such neurotic owners.

We'll . . . More neurotic than it already has.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

SamoSam - I would never in a million years delete/cancel an order if a forum topic was deleted by a user.

Bighorn | December 8, 2013

User cancelled--enuf said, I guess.

DallasTXModelS | December 8, 2013

Sounds a bit like extortion to me. I'm sure that threat would be just enough for Tesla to be glad for you to delete your order just to not have to deal with 8 years of craziness at Service Centers. | December 8, 2013

Last time I looked at the thread, a number of folks were flagging it because of the OP's posting history...probably enough folks flagged it for it to get zapped.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

I asked because the forum topic disappeared so I was hoping there was some logical explanation. It disappeared as soon as I went to login to reply.

I figured there were three possible choices.

A.) The user deleted it for some unknown reason.

B.) The user moved it to the owner only side. I used to have access to that until there was a mixup with my initial order, and I haven't bothered emailing them to get access. I was never really interested in the hidden section to begin with. It seemed like this section was a huge disservice to potential owners.

C.) A tesla moderator deleted/moved it.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

Dallas - Perhaps, but the contents of the thread were really solid and were written by people who I have a lot of respect for.

I don't mind if it simply got flagged by a number of users.

But, you do have to understand that it feels like it's censoring.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

omarsultan - I'm going to assume that what you said is correct, and I'll delete this thread.

I just didn't see that people flagged it as inappropriate. I didn't see anything inappropriate about it. Obviously I would never delete an order based on users behaviors.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

DallasTXModelS - How can it be extortion if I only left one possible reason why I would. It's more like I don't agree with a companies business practices, and I delete the order as a result.

Seems pretty rational to me if that was indeed the case.

But, the users explained what likely happened and it seems plausible. I still don't like it, but that's how the forum software works.

No harm, no faul.

redacted | December 8, 2013

As a suggestion, sometimes it's better to start kindly and simply ask rather than starting by threatening, even though you really mean it. It might turn out that Tesla doesn't care if you are going to hold your breath 'til you turn blue and then you either look foolish or you have to go buy a BMW, which would suck.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

redacted - Point taken.

Now I just need to figure out how to SEE how many times a post has been flagged. I just don't see where it shows that at.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

The thread was about Tesla misleading customers about the Battery Swap capabilities. The fact that it was deleted made Tesla look doubly bad.

I took issue with it being deleted, and I could have asked nicely (and probably should have), but I felt like I needed something stronger.

I felt like it was completely inappropriate for the thread to get deleted. But, it happened likely as a result of automatically being deleted and not on purpose by someone at Tesla.

So I errored in my assumption, but I feel like the companies actions regarding the battery swap already put them in a position where I wasn't happy with them.

redacted | December 8, 2013

You might re-ask the question, perhaps it won't be down voted.

Battery swap has always seemed a bit iffy to me, I really can't see Tesla putting a $50,000 hold on your AMEX until you bring the temp battery back (hyperbole, perhaps) or that it would provide enough competition with a 20 minute, free supercharge for pretty much the same distance travelled, especially given the relative inventory expense (how to pay for a $50,000 battery at $60/shot) and the tetchiness of owners WRT their batteries (see forums). It seems like batteries would almost have to move to a rental model to make it work. And the radical success of the supercharger network has already provided a satisfying answer to range anxiety, which battery swap was intended to reduce.

But I'd never put it past Tesla to come up with something cool.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

redacted - Ha yeah. Maybe I'll leave it up to see how many downvotes it takes. :P

Honestly, I absolutely hated the entire battery swap thing for all the reasons you mentioned. Especially when the superchargers was what really got me excited about the Tesla, and it took attention away from that.

But, then I believe it was Brian H that mentioned that it was really only done for additional tax credits, and it would never be an actuality (aside from the one beta test site).

The problem was that it started becoming this myth being perpetuated where people felt like Battery swap would become a very real thing. People started thinking they could get a 60KW and temporarily upgrade to an 85KW for trips. I couldn't help, but try to warn them of that miscalculation.

Now I've come to the conclusion that the entire battery swap demonstration itself was a really questionable decision. They never clearly demonstrated that the cars would have to be modified or just how incredibly difficult a battery swap would be in real life.

Was it really worth misleading customers for extra $'s on tax credits? I think it's going to come back to bite them when it was never really a good idea to begin with (aside from fleet vehicles).

Bighorn | December 8, 2013

The OP simply pointed out that battery swap was no longer featured on Tesla Motors' home page. The fact that the page about battery swapping is more readily reached than this forum seems to have eluded the OP. There was some decent conversation regarding the pros and cons of swap technology, but some clever detective work by an owner revealed the OP to be a vested troll who Tesla bashes on the financial fora. I know of 3 trolls in the 7 or so months I've followed the forum--this guy was the third. It takes 5-7 flags to kill a thread, but there is no way to quantify the number of flags outstanding.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

Bighorn - But, I really wonder if that isn't the best way of handling it.

Sure the forum OP was a troll, but so many people in that thread took a lot of time and energy into writing really decent responses. Why delete their work?

Sometimes bad threads go good. This thread is absolutely my favorite thread of all time on these Tesla Forums. It's clearly a bad thread turned good. It makes Tesla look awesome.

The original title was edited so it was particularly bad at first.

jjaeger | December 8, 2013

D) forum members blasted it into the ether.

Not nearly as sensational as the TM theory, but more a likely option...

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

jjaeger - No, it's

E.) Hackers employed by Porsche hacked in and deleted the post on purpose to make Tesla look bad so they could steal my order.

Honestly I have no idea how I missed the obvious.

redacted | December 8, 2013

It's hard to say it was done ONLY for tax credits (nice article about it here though). Still, the government offers tax credits to encourage a behavior or the growth of a technology. It's perfectly reasonable for companies to take advantage of it.

DallasTXModelS | December 8, 2013


To flag a post or comment as inappropriate, click on the comment and a link that says "Flag as inappropriate" will show up just below the last line of the comment. Click that link and it will Flag inappropriate. If you change your mind you can chose the comment again and an "Undo flag" link will appear and you can click the link to unflag.

eddiemoy | December 8, 2013

complete nuts... you can just flag a thread a couple of times then it gets removed automatically. don't think tesla has anything to do with removing threads except maybe removing that feature.

tes-s | December 8, 2013

It is almost certainly as jjaeger said:

D) forum members blasted it into the ether.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

@DallasTX - I know how to flag/unflag a post. What I don't know is how to view how many times it has been flagged.

Bighorn says it's not possible to see that

I thought omarsultan said he saw how many times it was flagged, but I think he was just referring to people saying they were flagging it (which I didn't catch).

@eddit - I don't think I've ever seen Tesla actually remover a thread. I'm not sure why I latched on it so hard. Maybe other companies do it, but so far Tesla has been evil free in that department.

S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

@ tes-s

I'm still going with E.)


S4WRXTTCS | December 8, 2013

It would be really ironic if someone at Tesla deleted this thread,

That would be funny.

Brian H | December 8, 2013

I mentioned that as a viewpoint. I don't particularly subscribe to it. The business model is iffy at this point, and Tesla needs to establish whether the demand side of the equation is there before plumping in on the supply.

I also hear (?) the swap credit has been pulled back (in favour of hydrogen! of all inanities). Don't know if that's true or if it would/will make any difference.

The "keep your swap" option would certainly give some fascinating valuation data on batteries and their depreciation, etc., in any case. | December 8, 2013

Just ran across our buddy Alberto on the C&D website--certainly has an axe to grind on the topic. Being curious, I dug up this original post:

@P_D, I think you need to demand some sort of royalty payment from him, since your post is used to validate his claim that the battery swap is a scam.

On a side note, I guess we should pay attention to what we post on public threads lest things be taken out of context as was @P_D's post.


Mark K | December 8, 2013

To qualify for the credit, swapping has to be possible, though not necessarily commercially attractive.

50-100 million dollars in ZEV credits is not chump change that Tesla to blow off when they can easily qualify.

The demo showed its doable, and I expect one pilot station next year to gather practical data.

I personally think this form of swap is a kluge, and will not ultimately get traction commercially.

Increasingly fast SuperChargers are a more elegant solution, and TM is pushing very hard on those.

mclary | December 9, 2013

I flagged that post and this one too.

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

I don't think it really matters what you call the battery swap demonstration. Whether you call it a scam, or if you call it fake. Or just misleading as I call it.

What it really comes down to is a matter of trust in Tesla.

At the time of the demonstration it didn't seem to me that the Tesla community as a whole was really all that excited by the Battery Swap idea. Sure a few people here and there were, but on a whole it really felt like they cared more about Superchargers. In fact when they announced it was for a battery swap it seemed like people were let down.

It was an impressive demonstration, but it would have been just as impressive if they had been COMPLETELY HONEST about the fact that it was a technology demonstration, and that it wasn't possible with existing cars without modifications. That alone would have saved a ton of people from even considering battery swap when making a buying decision.

They still would have received the ZEV credits simply for doing the demonstration. They didn't even need to announce a pilot site, or go into specifics of cost. Maybe all of it wasn't B.S. at the time, but it was clearly something a long ways away.

At the time they were flying high and it seemed like they could do no wrong. But, now they're not flying so high. They've had a number of bumps in the road. From some accounting irregularities, the two fires, and the absolutely ridiculous lawsuit by a few shareholders. This is yet another potential bump in the road, and in this case its entirely their making.

To me trust is the most essential element when a person evaluates switching to a brand new car company. It was absolutely my hesitation when I first started strong considering a Tesla MS. To their credit they've done a ton of things to build trust with their customers so why jeopardize it in such an unnecessary way?

They basically pulled a page out of Top Gear's playbook.

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

@mclary - Did you read the actual thread?

I have no idea why someone would flag a post where everything was settled.

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

I ask because I'm trying to figure out what your motivation is.

I clearly admitted my mistake, and for the most part it just makes me look bad. So I don't mind it if it goes up in smokes, but I'm still curious about what motivates people.

Captain_Zap | December 9, 2013

It looks like the incentives for fast charging (i.e. swapping) are going away anyway, so it makes sense for Tesla to re-think it. There doesn't seem to be adequate demand for swapping stations anyway. Our cars were designed to have that capability, but it seems that technology, demand, prices and incentives are taking us down a different path.

We knew that the car could be ordered with Supercharging capability but, we didn't know if we would ever see Supercharging stations. We didn't know what they would look like, how many there would be (if any at all), how they would perform or how much it would cost. I think it is great that the flexibility was built into the car so that there was the option to adapt to new technology and demand.

When I configured my car, decided I should order it with Supercharging capability. I thought I was simply future-proofing my car, just in case. I believed that the twin chargers were far more important. As it turns out, Superchargers were the big hit. Many were surprised to learn that the Supercharging capability was built right into their car, just in case it was the option that took flight. All you had to to was activate it. Whoever decided to make the move to put Supercharger hardware in all the early cars, just in case, was a genius. They could have just made the safe bet and saved money by putting the hardware only in the cars that ordered them. Instead, they invested in having options just in case things changed. Who would have thought that they would now be in warp speed Supercharger installation mode now? Not many.

Back then, they didn't know whether the 85kWh would be a good seller or whether the 40kWh would be the most popular. As cars started rolling out and orders were finalized, Tesla learned that people wanted to travel far and wide, so they adapted.

Things evolve quickly. Tesla is nimble, responsive, and adaptable. That is why I am so impressed by the company. It has been an amazing journey. And it is just getting started.

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

@Captain_Zap - The superchargers were a completely out of the ball park home run.

I can't even imagine a more exciting automotive time in my lifetime then the roll out of the Supercharger network. From the announcements to how some Tesla owners would drive hundreds of miles out of their way to visit one. I watched in envy (delivery isn't till march) as supercharger after supercharger was built on the I5 corridor. The ironic part was that I don't even like driving long distance.

The 40KW move was part of the moves that really made me strongly consider a Tesla. The fact that even if you didn't buy it the supercharger capability was built in was a huge hit with me (I was fine with activating later if I didn't choose to get it). The buyback guarantee did play a role even though I STILL have to figure out the inner workings of that one. But, mostly it was the superchargers that really pushed things.

The battery swap never interested me in the least in terms of wanting it. I now question the marketing/business move to demonstrate it the way they did. But, that's mostly because I'm a passionate in both my excitement for Tesla and my disdain when I feel like they've screwed up.

Captain_Zap | December 9, 2013

I think that they did the best possible thing. They kept all their options open. They didn't get married to one type of technology, standard or format because they knew that they had to be flexible. Not only was technology changing, but consumer demands were changing too. There was a variety of approaches that they could have taken to get closer to their end game. Once the road began to get paved, they followed it.

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

Captain_Zap - I agree that they did the best possible thing AFTER the demonstration. They measured the pulse of the market, and adapted. I just take issue with the presentation is all. It was inexcusably misleading if its indeed true that the car was modified without letting us know what the modifications were.

I would have liked a little more transparency, but I guess its part of being an Elon Musk fan. Sometimes he just goes a little too far.

Captain_Zap | December 9, 2013

I thought it was an incredible presentation. I would bet that the swapping equipment in the demo is the same type that is used to install the batteries in the factory. Elon's big hint was that everything was right under our noses. That meant that our cars were equipped so that battery swapping was an option.

It wasn't until after the Supercharger announcement that we learned that all of our cars were already equipped for supercharging. It was a bit of a surprise just like the battery swap capability was.

It seems that swapping demand has been quashed by Supercharger demand. Battery swapping was just one of many capabilities the Model S had. In the end, the customers wanted to control their own batteries. You have seen how people here on the forums are always looking for ways to better pamper and care for their batteries.

You can't fault Tesla for following the most promising path and shedding the other options that didn't catch on or otherwise have support. Perhaps it is a place where they can cut costs now so that they can focus on more Superchargers, Model X and GenIII.

AmpedRealtor | December 9, 2013


I flagged the previous thread. As soon as I flagged it, the thread disappeared. I must have been the one that pushed the number of flags past the threshold point. Tesla is not censoring anything here, but owners and enthusiasts are actively flagging flame-bait threads and posts that are made by confirmed trolls. Once I realized who the author of the previous thread was and read some of his irrational and completely nonsensical anti-Tesla rants on other blogs and web sites, I found nothing wrong with flagging the scumbag.

I will exercise what little control I have around here to silence those who want to see Tesla fail. In fact, I encourage other enthusiasts and owners to do the same. The more we police ourselves, the better this forum will be for actual owners and those who are seriously considering purchasing. This forum is not a place to exercise free speech, exorcise your psychological demons, or spread misinformation about a brand in which many of us have invested a lot of money.

Of course, that's just my take. | December 9, 2013

I don't think anyone on this forum can definitely say how close to reality battery swapping is. Personally, I think our current cars are probably 80-90% of the way there, with perhaps some sort of retro-fit needed for the underbody panels and the connections for the coolant pipes. For TM to get the ZEV credit, I am guessing they needed to show the technology was deployable.

Being a start-up with finite resources, I think they did the right thing to put this on the back burner since the market and the owners are much more enamored with SuperCharging. However, I do expect them to stand up at least one battery swap location to test the concept and build some operational knowledge around it--I just don't expect it to be on top of the to-do list.


jbunn | December 9, 2013

I think the swap thread had already been beaten to death anyway. There are still reasons for a company to demonstrate battery swapping without ever doing a large scale rollout. Racing, and fleet vehicles come to mind as well as the most important part. Demonstrating it's possible.

Likewise the disappearing threads had been beaten to death.

Like Amped, I'll flag troll bait threads and messages from known trolls when they are acting a fool. If you notice how we get to this forum, it's on the ENTHUSIASTS menu.

(Now, I'm flagging my own post, AND holding my breath until Tesla calls me and apologizes)

S4WRXTTCS | December 9, 2013

@AmpedRealtor - The car itself does a pretty damn good job of silencing those that want to see Tesla fail.

The issue I had with it was the amount of work that your respected fellow members on this forum put in. Either in defense of Tesla, or with their own observations.

You didn't just silence the troll, but in doing so you (along with others) also silenced those we have the most respect for. You silenced what they had to say.

What was the combined total amount of time put in by respected people? an hour? Two hours? That went down the drain because of what? Oh, you found a troll.

This isn't just some special club where only those who spend their entire lives on this site have a right to engage in conversation, but for all of us enthusiasts.

By the time the troll was figured out the damage was already done.

The best thing to do would be to call him out on being a troll so he was identified for what he was. So people could decided for themselves what value his words had while preserving the work of your fellow respected members. If you're obsessed with flagging then flag his comments to other peoples responses, but not the original post. At least that would be funny.

AmpedRealtor | December 9, 2013


"By the time the troll was figured out the damage was already done."

I tend to disagree on the above point simply because of this reason: it was not up long enough to cause any damage. Letting a damaging thread linger - especially one with a suggestive or leading subject line - will do more damage than snipping it in the bud because most people will not have the fortitude to read through an entire thread just to find the posts calling out the original poster as a troll. It also provides fuel for that troll to use on a blog to get more clicks, or the words of the troll himself may get quoted by other blogs as from a "Tesla enthusiast", etc.

The best course of action, in my opinion, is to limit the damage as soon as possible by flagging a thread. No one member has the power to delete a thread, but if enough members agree and flag it, then a sufficient number of enthusiasts deemed the post as inappropriate. This is a forum for enthusiasts, not haters. My flagging practice has to do with whether a post or thread falls under the "enthusiast" umbrella. If it doesn't, I flag it. If enough of us are in agreement, poof! We can agree to disagree here, but I believe Tesla implemented things this way for a reason.

Low CG | December 9, 2013

Can you imagine a car company that hosts an open forum on their very own website? Talk about transparent. Some would actually call that foolish as it attracts posts from detractors (and as threatening as Tesla is, it does have highly motivated detractors). I'm thankful that the users have a means to delete destructive posts from them.