Next big Tesla announcement is around June 20: Musk

Next big Tesla announcement is around June 20: Musk

Per Elon at All Things D...after tomorrow's, around June 20 is next (presumably the "fifth" in the trilogy)

Sudre_ | June 19, 2013

Brian does that mean after driving your 85kWh battery for 8 years you technically get a free good as new 60kWh battery for :-) Kinda puts that 85 upgrade cost in perspective then.

DouglasR | June 19, 2013

It might actually be better than a new 60 kWh battery because the degradation curve has begun to flatten out. :)

mdemetri | June 19, 2013

I don't see how Tesla can allow 60's to swap for 85's for travel without a major upfront cost. The 85's paid 10k more, and for many like me, this was to ensure long distance travel with sc. If I knew I could swap for an 85 for the few long distance trips I take, this may have tipped me over to getting a 60. Tesla will have to take this cost differential into account. They could offer the 85's a 120kwh pack, but I am not sure how much better this would be for long distance travel.

This then creates another logistics problem: will two different packs be stored at sc stations and how will the robot know which pack to use? While this is a solvable problem, the logistics seem like a nightmare.

Given this and the other discussed issues, I still cannot see why Tesla would role out main pack swapping.

PapaSmurf | June 19, 2013

I must be too dumb for this. It sounds expensive to do battery swaps.

Unless this battery swap is free, why wouldn't I just use the supercharger at the same spot?

Carefree | June 19, 2013

I could see a business model where you have the choice of either buying the battery - just like we have in the past or "leasing" the battery. The lease option would allow you to swap the batteries and all cars would be 85s! For many people this would be an ideal scenario.

PapaSmurf | June 19, 2013

Carefree, then Tesla is becoming an auto leasing finance company. The battery pack is likely a $20,000 to $30,000 cost right now. They would be breaking up the car into two different payments? How would that work?

1) One payment for the $50,000 price of the car without the battery, you pay your bank or credit union.
2) The battery lease/subscription payment for $20,000 to $30,000 you pay to Tesla Motors over a certain number of years.

I don't think that would be very compelling to potential buyers. In fact, it seems quite annoying.

... | June 20, 2013

Hello from Moscow! In Russia there are also many Tesla's fans, despite all of them are "teslasless" now (as i think for today).
Does here exists some Russian-speaking alive and active Tesla S driver? If he does, he is welcome to our forum
We have also a good thriller, wellknown for you as "A battery swapping technology or a super-super charger"
With great pleasure to all Tesla's people!

uselesslogin | June 20, 2013


For Carefree's leasing model I think you are missing that the yearly battery payments would total about 1/8th the value of the battery reducing the total monthly payment. OTOH, this is what Better Place did and one of the many things that drove them into bankruptcy. You still hit it on the head, Tesla would have to be a leasing company and a young car maker like Tesla can't be a leasing company if they want to stay in business. The plan is bad for Tesla but good for the consumer.

AtlantaCourier | June 20, 2013

Here's a bit of speculation:

Could Tesla be aiming to set up something like battery-swap franchises? Tesla sells the chargers and robotic equipment to entrepreneurs who risk their own capital in finding, securing, and maintaining locations.

Tesla would retain control of all batteries in the system, and could ensure that high standards are being met by monitoring the network and replacing batteries when they fall below minimum quality levels.

In this way, Tesla would spend the $50-$100 million in initial setup that Elon quoted mostly on batteries.

The incentive to entrepreneurs would be HUGE once they consider that many automobile manufacturers may license Tesla Technology.

DouglasR | June 20, 2013

So here is my final speculation on this topic. TM will swap your main battery at suitably equipped supercharger stations, and will essentially charge only for the electricity -- i.e., a nominal amount of, say, $25 or less per swap. Enough so that it will be a close question of whether to swap or to supercharge on a given trip.

In addition, TM will, through software, insure that the battery you receive is the equivalent of the battery you turn in. The equipment will read your car's logs to determine the condition (capacity) of the battery being turned in, and will software-limit the exchange battery to that level. That way, you will not be able to turn in an eight year old battery for a new one and pay only $25. Of course, for a higher fee, you will be able to remove the software limit, and convert to a full-capacity battery, but that will need to be a separate transaction.

This is a simple way to speed up charging, remove range anxiety, and also remove any fears about the battery itself. It will also spur people to purchase battery upgrades as their batteries degrade.

Carefree | June 20, 2013

Unless they store your own battery after the swap until the time that you come back from your trip, the only business solution that makes sense is not owning the battery as a Tesla Model S driver. You own the car but you do not own the battery. It's the same model they use in France for the Renault - granted Better Place went out of business but that does not mean that Tesla could not succeed.

We'll know more tonight:-)

ORWA | June 20, 2013

Here is a picture of what we'll see during the live presentation tonight. This is from Elon's twitter account:

rmbod | June 20, 2013

It seems to me the batteries being swapped will all be 85kW and the individual car's software package will limit how much of the battery it will use. No different than the "new 40kW."

AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

I WAS RIGHT! I WAS RIGHT! Well, at least if that photo is to be believed. I was one of the first people who suggested that we are going to see a live "fill-off" between a Tesla and an ICE vehicle. On the big screen, that sure looks like a picture car at a gas pump! Then there's the timer, showing how Tesla accomplishes this, and it is all going to take place live. This is why Elon said that something could go wrong with the demo, as there are several "moving parts" to the entire presentation.

Sorry, I don't mean to gloat, but I love it when I accurately predict something. And people laugh when I tell them that I'm psychic... LOL

Bryan M. | June 20, 2013

Then Tesla will show the price of how much the gas cost and say swapping will be free or a fraction of the cost to fill a tank! I think it will be free and those batteries when not swapping will be tied to energy storage.

Warkovision | June 20, 2013

So is there video of this event posted somewhere here? I came back last night at 11 PM PST and couldn't access the Tesla site because they were updating it. I've checked Enthusiasts/Photos and Videos and it doesn't seem to be there.

Logical_Thinker | June 20, 2013

GUYS, is it possible? a 45 second swap? That's strongly what Elon's twitter pic suggests.
And it's good they picked the fastest pump in LA, or people would say "but you used a slow gas pump."

AND that's one fast pump. 17 gallons in 45 seconds? Yikes. And I hope they emphasize that the gas-car guy has to get out of the car, swipe his card, punch in his numbers, open his gas tank, pick up the dirty gas nozzle, close his tank, and get back in his car.

AND I hope they use a car with a similar range and similar price.

The gas people will be SEARCHING for something to deride. Rest assured, they will try to make Tesla look bad.

tobi_ger | June 20, 2013

@Warkovision: you're a night early, it's tonight. :)

DouglasR | June 20, 2013

@Carefree - TM will not own the battery. Think of swapping gas canisters for your barbecue at Home Depot. You buy the canister, but then pay each time you swap it out. In the case of batteries, you never come back for your old battery. You just go to the swap station and exchange a discharged one for a charged one, paying only for the electricity.

Logical_Thinker | June 20, 2013

Can anybody identify that car in Elon's pic? Is that a BMW 640i Gran Coupe (has an 18.5 gallon tank, gets 24 mpg combined EPA rating).

That still gives the Gran Coupe a significant range advantage before next fillup, but most gas stations will be much slower.

ELON: present stats on actual AVERAGE gas station FILLUP times. This will combat the people who say "ah, but the Model S will have to change packs more frequently than a gas car fills up."

AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

Crazy idea... could there be room underneath the factory-installed battery to stack another, identical battery? This could easily be something that all Model S cars had from the very beginning - a connector and area for a 2nd battery to be stacked underneath the one that's "built-in". Pull into a station, a new battery is essentially plugged in and secured from underneath, and you're on your way. No removal of the existing battery is required. I'm just speculating, as I have not seen anything more than the chassis at the Tesla store - but the battery looks pretty slim and could be designed to stack.

Logical_Thinker | June 20, 2013

I doubt they add a second battery... the 85 kwh battery is actually pretty think AFAIK.

elguapo | June 20, 2013

@AmpedRealtor I don't think so because that would add significant weight and would probably require them to go through the NHTSA (or whatever agency) again.

Here's what I'd like to see in the demo. A guy pulls in with a Tesla (let's say its Elon). Stops. Shows range left of say 1 mile. Then a guy dressed as a magician comes out. Puts a huge black cloth over the entire car (w/ Elon inside). Waves his hands around for a while, does a trick or two, then pulls off the cloth, Elon's in the seat and range is 265+/-. He drives off. Applause.

PapaSmurf | June 20, 2013

TM will not own the battery. Think of swapping gas canisters for your barbecue at Home Depot. You buy the canister, but then pay each time you swap it out. In the case of batteries, you never come back for your old battery. You just go to the swap station and exchange a discharged one for a charged one, paying only for the electricity.

If that were the design, I think you would see a lot of abuse in the system right before an owner does a resale of his car. Swap a few times till you get a relatively new battery in there, then sell.

I also don't think owners would go for having artificial software limits on the swapped battery based only on what was turned in. People will just use range mode more aggressively to get around it. So overall the swap batteries in the network would be some of the most abused. People might always charge at home in range mode if they know they can swap casually.

I think there has to be some real ownership involved in order to get owners to treat swap batteries as something to not be abused.

I would never do an oil change or have much concern about a rental car. If battery swaps are just a rental, they are going to be abused. I would not want my battery as part of that system.

We will see what the pricing is for this soon. It has to make financial sense though.

tomas.hutters | June 20, 2013

It is going to be exciting! The only thing I am missing is the webcast link - could someone please post it?


Warkovision | June 20, 2013


Brian H | June 20, 2013

Sounds workable. Something like that seems needed to cover all the A**** involved!

Logical_Thinker | June 20, 2013

Maybe Tesla is going to guarantee a minimum capacity percentage (say, >90% capacity) in the battery as long as the owner is paying a certain monthly or yearly subscription. Maybe the subscription will allow the pack swap for zero or minimum charge.

Maintaining minimum battery capacity would allow the Tesla S to maintain extremely high resale value (essentially just as good as a new car, less the value of cosmetic wear & tear).

Logical_Thinker | June 20, 2013

re: the concern about always charging at home in range mode, Tesla could software-limit that ability, say, based on charging patterns.

And the software limit could be remotely instantly released if the customer calls in, for example (so if somebody has an unusual situation actually requiring the range mode charge repeatedly, then Tesla could allow it).

Yme | June 20, 2013

Why so possessive?
Who cares who is the owner of the battery you or TM?

TM need to guarantee for the battery at least until you swap again. No worries, just drive and smile. Look at the big picture.

AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

If Tesla doesn't allow me to own the battery it comes with, shouldn't I receive some sort of a credit or a reduction in the price? Or are you saying that the trade for battery ownership is free swapping?

DouglasR | June 20, 2013

@JamesM - Why would there be abuse? If the battery you get is made to have the same capacity as the battery you give, people would want to make sure the battery they turned in was as good as possible. These batteries have a no-fault guarantee, so they are probably pretty robust. You will always get a battery as good as the one you turn in, so there is a strong incentive to keep it in good condition. If the battery being turned in has been abused to the point that it will no longer charge to the same level (or if it's just getting old), that degradation will be detected and hence reflected in the software limits applied to the new battery.

I thought about a subscription price as opposed to a per-swap fee, but it is hard to make a subscription price match everyone's needs. If you don't have much long-distance travel, a subscription price could end up costing quite a lot for each swap, in which case a person would be better off using the superchargers. A per-swap fee could be set at a level designed to "compete" with the superchargers. For example, someone might not mind spending $25 for a swap rather than waiting a half-hour to charge; if the superchargers are busy, the swap would be even more attractive. If someone is a heavy user of the swapping service (for example an apartment or condo dweller without home charging), the fee means he is at least paying for the electricity he uses.

The only problem with a per-swap fee is that it mars the elegance of the "free" supercharger station, with no credit card machines, cash registers, etc. However, this could easily be handled by simply establishing an on-line account, backed by a credit card. The swapping station would identify the car and automatically charge the account. No need even to sign a credit card slip.

DouglasR | June 20, 2013

@Amped - You are the owner of your battery. When you swap, you relinquish ownership of the old battery and assume ownership of the new one. Simple.

AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

Battery swapping in itself doesn't really excite me, but the fact that it CAN be swapped excites me about the possibility of higher capacity batteries and longer range in the future.

cerjor | June 20, 2013

My thought is that the demo tonight will be mostly hardware and very little about how it will be implemented. Sort of like the alpha model of the model S that toured the country in the early days. Lot's of generalities but few specifics.

Benz | June 20, 2013

@ cerjor


That just might be the case indeed.

uselesslogin | June 20, 2013


I didn't notice that maybe the gas tank gets filled in 45 seconds. I can't really read the numbers it looks like 17 gallons but it also looks like $40 which wouldn't be right. If that is the gas tank getting filled in 45 seconds the Tesla guy looks really boring.

My new prediction - the swap will be 10 seconds. Maybe 5. Also there will be details and Model S owners will be able to swap tomorrow at the 2 stations that are already set up.

Maybe I won't sound so crazy tomorrow. Then again maybe I will...

ian | June 20, 2013

Don't go looking for a live webcast folks. Elon has stated that it will be live for those attending and then a video will be posted when it's over at ~9:30pm.

Looking forward to seeing how this is done and if they do decide to roll out a program or just show off that it can be done.


AmpedRealtor | June 20, 2013

Are they doing to put these swapping stations at the Sonic drive-thru? I would love to order a burger and fries while my battery gets swapped. LOL

riceuguy | June 20, 2013

And I believe the screen shows 4 gallons at $17 after 0:45, implying this is a picture from the middle of the demo (which will likely go to about 2 minutes to match the 265 mile range for both gas and swap (10 gallons @ 25 mpg, give or take).

riceuguy | June 20, 2013 (and click to make it even bigger)

Vicelike | June 20, 2013

Visions of Batofilia.

Punishable by fine or car blue screening for each offense?

Lastrock625 | June 20, 2013

Is there a way to watch online?

skymaster | June 20, 2013

They could place these swaps at "In & Out" the DOUBLE DOUBLE a whole new meaning!

uselesslogin | June 20, 2013


That makes sense now. But I'm pretty sure the Tesla is done at that point. I don't think Elon would release the 0:45 screen shot and not meet or beat that number. I withdraw my prediction for 5-10 second swaps though.

PapaSmurf | June 20, 2013

I predict a swap will be done in 38 seconds.

And it will cost $12,000 as an activation fee to be in the swap network. Or the subscription rate will roughly be that amount over the life of the car.

Mark K | June 20, 2013

Looking at the stage right now. Definitely in the floor, main pack swap. Big news will be how they organize access, and all the details.

Very excited crowd, and large hall packed to the gills.

A huge posse of model s drivers arrived in style.

Demo in a few minutes!

mdemetri | June 20, 2013

Mark K

Keep possting pleasssssssssse!

Mark K | June 20, 2013
cerjor | June 20, 2013

Why can't I see event streamed? Only see black screen with Stay Tuned written on it.