Fast Charging & Battery Swap Announcements 4 & 5 of the Trilogy

Fast Charging & Battery Swap Announcements 4 & 5 of the Trilogy

I have a theory that goes something like this:

Announcement 4:

Tesla announces about the Superchargers. Lots of new stations announced.

Announcement 5:

1. Tesla announces battery swap for 60's for 85kWh batteries at Service Center before/during big road trips. This is a service that will hardly get used since most people will be able to use a Supercharger, but will offer 1 minute swap with appointment. Each Service Center will only need to maintain a few large packs since the demand will be mild.

2. They couple this "faster than a fill-up" recharge with 120kWh charging so that Supercharge fill times drop significantly.

3. The cost of swap service will be complimentary for anyone with a service plan and some nominal amount if you choose to pay on a per use basis.


A. Tesla said in SEC-filing for Q2 "our capability to rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist but which we plan to introduce in the NEAR future." [Emphasis added]

B. 120 kwh charging has already been baked in.

C. It gives Tesla access to 7 ZEV credits instead of 4 credits per car as battery swap satisfies the fast refueling requirements.

D. Adding battery swaps at Tesla Service centers effectively triples Tesla's fast charging network. (Add all Superchargers (9) to all Service Centers (25?)

This scenario is extremely cost effective since it only requires:

1. Upgrade to vehicle software.

2. 10 battery packs per service center x 25? Service Centers x $20,000/pack = $5 Million

3. Battery swapping machine

Whity Whiteman | May 13, 2013

round numbers:

120KW Supercharger
120KWh Accupack (since the 40ies has killed)
120 SC in different countries USA-Canada-europe incl. east-westcoast-travel

thanks ;-)

lph | May 13, 2013

Maybe that they can now charge at much faster rates ... say 240kW. If you charge up a cell phone you can get (at least mine) a half charge in about 10 minutes.
I am no expert at this subject and correction is requested if wrong.
Maybe Tesla now feels comfortable doing the same thing. If you had a step down transformer in built in to the car then the connection hardware may not need to be any beefier because the amps would be the same but the voltage higher. Then it is just a software change - 40kW (or about 130 miles) in 10 minutes is pretty fast.

cerjor | May 13, 2013

Faster charging or swapping won't help if there are no stations along your route. I hope he announces the location of lots of new SCs.

Xerogas | June 18, 2013


I agree with you that the current Model S battery is bolted in so extensively that battery swapping is highly unlikely. What if the June 20 announcement and live demo uses the Model X though? Seems like Tesla has plenty of opportunity to re-engineer swapping capabilities for an as-yet-unreleased model.

Counting the hours till Thursday evening!

DouglasR | June 18, 2013

@Xerogas - Elon has already tweeted that swapping works with all Model S cars, past and present. "It was always there."

Xerogas | June 18, 2013

Even better!

Lush1 | June 18, 2013

I've been at a service center during a swap. It's not simple or quick. Lots of bolts, electrical connections and the liquid cooling connections. Some fluid leaks when the pack is pulled and the system has to be filled, pressurized and maybe bled of air like brakes. It takes significant time to uncrate them and lift them with a crane/lift device they have. There is a lot of labor involved. I can't see any way the current car with the current battery could be swapped in a minute, or 5 or 30, unless there is significant modification to the pack and the car.

Robert22 | June 18, 2013

Agree, there has to be a twist in here somewhere. Hard for it to be a straight pack drop of the main Li- Ion battery unless they're using bolts we don't know about. Too much of a mess. If would have to be one fast, smart, and expensive robot to do the swap unless it's just a guy named Tim.

sbeggs | February 6, 2015

boy! totally flagged.