Elon: Battery swapping..we may have something to say about that in the future

Elon: Battery swapping..we may have something to say about that in the future


ian | May 30, 2013

Hopefully, "No thanks, don't need it." ;-)

Benz | May 30, 2013

This will not be needed. Maybe only on a smaller scale for business fleets situations. But even that is not very likely, in my opinion. But technically it's very much possible and doable. So, that's not the issue at all. More like, would people want to have this option. And if this option will result in more Tesla EV's getting sold, than it will be made possible. No doubt about that. But I do not see this happening before GEN III is sold in the hundreds of thousands per year. So, it's more like a long term option with not a high priority.

Carefree | May 30, 2013

Actually I would love the option of an add-on battery pack in the frunk. Think about it: The Superchargers will solve the long distance travel but what happens once you get off the main highways? Even with 300 Superchargers installed it will STILL not cover the entire US. What if you want to spend a weekend in Yellowstone and drive around - how great would it be if you could rent an additional battery pack for the weekend for off-highway travel!

SamO | May 30, 2013

On the call this morning he said "Pack swap is not a brilliant idea." I think that is a nail in the coffin for straight swap.

But I think Al + Water or Lithium air "disposable" for emergency energy.

TI Sailor | May 30, 2013

IF somewhat decontented MS's were built as taxicabs, I can see real value in having main battery swapping, e.g., at the central dispatch area. 24/7 utilization would demand it. OTOH, with the SC rollout and the other promised upgrades, I really can't make an economic case for it. Add-on battery pack in the frunk? Potentially valuable when traveling as @Carefree described.

mdemetri | May 30, 2013

Yes, I think the June 20 annoucement will be an swappable Al-Air battery for the frunk that extends the range by 100's of miles, not swapping the main pack.

Mark K | May 30, 2013

At first I thought Elon poured cold water on it all by saying swaps aren't a brilliant idea. But if you parse each of his statements, they allow interpretation as - straight swaps of the main pack are dumb, but add-ins are different.

There clearly will be an announcement on the 20th, and on balance I think it favors the al-air frunk pack.

The quarterly filing says swapping's coming, and Elon has said faster than gas is possible.

We'll see what sorts out on the 20th.

Remember, Vulcans never lie. But they don't mind if you are confused.

edcalis | May 30, 2013

Building an infrastructure takes time and mucho money . Not a good idea for Tesla. Don't we want to learn from others' mistakes??

Brian H | May 30, 2013

Doesn't mean it's dumb, just not novel or new. The problem is the economics, as Better Place did such a fine job of demonstrating.

mdemetri | May 30, 2013

Brian H +1

I re-listened to the conference call and all Elon is saying is that battery swapping is not a novel idea. He does not say that it is a bad idea; rather he says that 'we may have something to say about this in the future'. I think this means a June 20 annoucement of a secondary swapable Al-Air battery for the frunk.

I cannot wait!!!

Robert22 | May 30, 2013

1. Switch = shift, transfer, or divert = junk in the frunk
2. Swap = exchange or trade = drop the main pack

I can't see Elon ever pulling these cars apart, it's too inelegant.

Favor 1

bp | May 31, 2013

Battery life remains a long term concern with the Model S. Months ago, there was mention of a battery replacement plan - but nothing's available to purchase yet.

Perhaps the next announcement will be addressing battery life and replacement.

With the new SC announcement, quick battery swap may not be needed - but to restore the car to the full range, periodic battery refreshing might be useful (especially if the degradation is isolated to only a few bricks in the battery pack).

Mark K | May 31, 2013

Elon also says that he loves "optionality".

That aligns pretty well with the Al-Air frunk pack theory.

I think that's what we'll see on the 20th.

Objective1 | May 31, 2013

I heard that comment. It didn't sound like Elon does when he is sitting on an announcement. It sounded like engineer-Elon who thinks pack swapping would be neat if it could be a made to work, but who doesn't have any current plan as far as that goes.