Battery swap out?

Battery swap out?

I can't find anything here about this but in the WSJ interview Elon says the battery can be swapped in less than a minute. Anyone know the details on this?

jbunn | November 10, 2011

I dont expect a huge market for this. Say three years from now, you buy a new tesla, and swap your battery on a road trip. What if they dont have your size? What if its two or thee years older?. What would a company need for monetary compensation to stock 20k batteries, and why would you part with your brand new 20k investment on a battery you dont know.

Not gonna happen.

Does allow for one minuite STEALING of your battery, though if thats a plus for us.

Timo | November 10, 2011

Does allow for one minuite STEALING of your battery, though

With gear that costs about 10x the battery price, and very heavy duty vehicles so thief should be easy to catch.

Easier to steal entire car under one minute.

Volker.Berlin | November 11, 2011

evpro, the battery will be quickly swappable, Elon Musk bet $1 Million on it (and the reputation he'd lose is probably worth much more than that):

But no one from Tesla has ever mentioned any plans for anything along the lines of Better Place. They say they make it "easily" (with the right tools) and quickly swappable, but they don't say what for. There are a couple of speculations in the media and on this forum, why quick-swappable batteries can be an advantage even if we do not have the infrastructure available to replace gas stations/fast charging:

1. Quick and easy upgrade (if battery is worn out/new technology becomes available).

2. Tesla or even some 3rd party could offer large battery packs for rental. Instead of renting an ICE, you'd rent a battery for the weekend and then have your own battery re-installed when you return. IMO only useful when even larger batteries become available, see 1.

3. Easy maintenance, quick replacement in case of failure. Tesla probably does not want to advertise this (lesson #1, don't use "failure" in advertisements), but it saves time and money should a problem occur with your pre-installed battery.

4. Any of the above and more (or less). Since the battery is placed in the bottom of the car for many other reasons, the quick-swap option came practically for free. Therefore, Tesla could as well implement it even without knowing if you ever need it.

evpro | November 11, 2011

I agree but its nice to know it is possible.

The other thought I had was to buy the 160 battery then replace it when bigger/better/cheaper batts become available.

Chaiyawut Keereeto | November 11, 2011

Swappable battery is really a smart design and architecture. I have to admit that I think Elon Musk and Tesla do have a great vision.

Discoducky | November 11, 2011

I could see Tesla allowing Better Place to become a certified swap location for the Model S/X. As more and more cars become electrified it becomes more cost effective for a 3rd party to handle the load.

Ramon123 | November 13, 2011

I'm not so sure Musk said anything other than that the pack was
swappable in a fairly short time frame. The placement of the battery had nothing to do with its swappability - it is simply the best location for the battery. Better Place cars do NOT have a battery mounted under the car and their swapping machine will not work for the Tesla, nor do I see any reason to want to swap Tesla batteries.
Swapping requires dealing with Better Place with respect to batteries. I would NEVER want to lease a battery from Better Place - the overhead is simply of no use when the driving range and recharge rates are as good as those in the Tesla Model S vehicles. I foresee
much better batteries in the not distant future, perhaps from Toyota's promising development or DBM-Energy. When those arrive, at an estimated cost of as little as 10% current battery prices,with driving ranges up to 600 miles, then Better Place becomes hopelessly obsolete.

Mycroft | November 13, 2011

Better Place is doomed everywhere except possibly Israel; and there only as long as the gov't honors the monopoly.

EdG | November 13, 2011

They might do okay in Hawaii if they can get there before too long.

Mycroft | November 13, 2011

Check out this article in the WSJ:

So with Better Place, you're *required* to charge using their electricity (not in your own garage) at a cost of 80% the cost of gasoline vs. 10% in your garage.

EdG | November 13, 2011

That's not the impression I had when I originally heard about it. You can't even skip the "filling" station with such a deal. Terrible.

Robert.Boston | November 14, 2011

This looks like a failing business model -- I can't imagine paying the upfront capital cost of buying the car, but then subjecting myself to the monopoly supply of power from Better Place. Swapping is potentially very useful as a long-distance stop-gap, but I don't see it for typical daily use.

viao44 | November 14, 2011

I dont care for the battery swap places thugh they are interesting..

I do have this dream of owning a Tesla long enough to need a new battry. I also dream of replacing it myself with a battry of my choice. What if the tech gets better? What if someone can get me a cheaper one? Just a dream.

Mycroft | November 14, 2011

Battery swapping is a total non-starter. I simply cannot understand why anybody in their right mind would want it.

To quick charge a battery takes very little overhead and virtually no labor on the part of the charging station.

To swap a battery takes a lot of overhead and a LOT of labor to do the swap, maintain the batteries and inventory, plus charge them up.

Robert.Boston | November 14, 2011

Mycroft, it has a superficial appeal: drive into a "car wash" like facility, and five minutes later emerge on the other side with a fully charged battery. This process would completely undercut the "but filling up with gas is faster than charging" argument. Also, from the perspective of the electric utility, it's far better to have all the charging going on in a few places with a direct interconnection to the transmission grid, rather than loading up random circuits on the distribution networks.

What the Better Place business model ignores is that nearly all charging for nearly all drivers will occur at home or office and consume only a few seconds of the driver's time. Rather than deal with this uncomfortable fact, Better Place forbids it. This is a fatal flaw.

Larry Chanin | November 14, 2011

Yes, lots of fatal flaws. It all but requires standardization of battery packs between competing manufacturers. Very unlikely in my opinion.

What happens when charging infrastructure, particularly fast charging, is deployed? Even if charging is not as fast as a battery swap it will drain away business in a big way.