when will the battery swap be available?

when will the battery swap be available?

when will the battery swap be available?
I stopped at the super charger in Barstow last week. It was great, but the chargers were in the back of a parking
lot all by them selves. I thought there's no place for a battery swap here. So does anyone know where and when?

SamO | 30 août 2013

They may be working on swap in Hawthorne.

Brian H | 30 août 2013

There will only be one for some time, until demand is demonstrated.

holstein13 | 31 août 2013

I've read that the only reason Tesla chose to demonstrate the battery swap was so they could increase the tax credits they receive on each car.

I've always felt that, outside of fleet operations, battery swaps are an unworkable concept. Who would want to trade in their brand new battery for a used battery? Answer, no one.

The concept makes no sense to anyone except fleet managers such as taxi cabs or delivery services.

jbunn | 31 août 2013

+1 Paul

I don't think we're going to see a rollout of battery swapping infrastructure for consumers anytime soon.

If you look at a supercharger, it's a slim pedestal a parking spot, and some transformers behind the shrubs. Battery swap would require the automated lift, then a way to get the batteries into storage racks, charging, assessment of fitness, and a zillion other things. Basically it needs to be something like a Jiffy Lube, with staff on hand incase anything jams.

Captain_Zap | 31 août 2013

Battery swap would be great for enduro racing!

Pungoteague_Dave | 31 août 2013

Battery swap announcement was about marketing. Nothing else. It will NEVER be rolled out at more than one place, and there only for the tax credits. It cannot be automated for existing cars - requires multiple inspections, fluid hook-ups, torque checking, replacement bolts, etc.

My battery swap happened this week in Rockville. My 85's battery went bad in the parking lot at Rockville while waiting for other scheduled service, so they had to replace it. The job took 3 hours of mechanic labor, and 7600 units of ethylene glycol, three seals, two dozen bolts, and a replacement cover (I am looking at the 9-page repair order as I write this). When we asked the service tech about why it took so long since they are designed for swapping (we already knew better), he just laughed.

Elon's swap demonstration was done under a cloak of secrecy, with no transparency as to what was happening under the car - a magician's sleight of hand at its best. A marketing-only answer to a question that becomes moot once you own the car.

NVJoule | 31 août 2013

I have an 85 kW-h because of the need for RARE longer distance range. I think the future of battery swaps lies with the ability to rent a large battery, like a 120 kW-h, for road trips, and have a smaller everyday battery, like a 40 kW-h, for routine use. Why haul around all that extra battery weight every day when you don't need it?

Brian H | 1 septembre 2013

The point of swapping is not permanent replacement; it is for temp use.

Your "sleight of hand" calumny is nonsense. You just can't bear the thought of being wrong about robotic swapping vs manual field emergency work. Get over it.

toby_wan_kenoby | 1 septembre 2013

I think by demonstrating that the battery can be swapped, Tesla received double the carbon certificates than without swapability. Its just retaining optionality for Tesla.

Once SC are fully built out there will be no need for swapping.
Swapping opens a can of worms:
- who own what battery?
- what happens with degradation of battery packs?
- warranty issues

Swapping is very capital intensive, maybe for Gen3 (Model E) to enable long distance travel.
It is feasible in connection with a battery rent option and therefore reduced purchase price of the car itself. Tesla owns the battery and loans it to the Gen3 purchaser for lets say $100 per month perpetually and one can use the swap stations for $30 a fill. The Model E would cost only $25k with this setup.

cfOH | 1 septembre 2013

Personally, I do hope battery swapping becomes available at the one Tesla station that I (will) use when driving between Cincinnati and Chicago. A 90-second swap is better than a 45-minute SC charge when you're anxious to get there, and I can (hypothetically) swap my old pack back on the return trip a few days later.

We have fully automated car washes, so I don't see why we couldn't have a fully automated battery swap station.

Pungoteague_Dave | 1 septembre 2013

Brian H, My main high voltage battery had to be replaced at the Rockville SC this week. The time charge was three hours, plus 7600 units of ethylene glycol, a couple dozen replacement bolts, several seals, clips and a replacement cover. When I asked why it took so long if the car is so swap-ready, the SC staff just laughed and said they' believe it when the see it. In my case, it actually took a full man-day to do the swap, although the TM specification is for 3 hours. A lot of stuff happened under the demo car that was PT Barnum-level illusion. I will be glad to post a pdf of the 9-page work order that includes my multi-hour battery "swap".

I was not wrong about feasibility of swap, except that I did not believe the announcement would be a swap. I was wrong about it, but not about the substance. It still isn't feasible, but once "demonstrated" is quite valuable as a "feature" for tax and marketing purposes. That's all it is. IT CANNOT be done with existing cars. Anyone having spent ten minutes under the car, much less the hours I have under my car, disassembling and re-assembling, would know that it is mechanically not possible with cars that have been delivered so far. There are panels UNDER and attached TO the battery that have to be removed and there is no amount of automation that make that happen. There were either modified panels under the demo car, or a person under there working very fast. And that does no begin to deal with the manual coolant bleeding and torque verification that would be required after any automated swap process - after all, the battery is a stressed part of the car's body structure. The existing cars have glue/mastic/sealant around the battery as part of the attachment process - the issues go on and on, but it isn't even a question that swapping batteries in existing the Model S deliveries cannot be done the way it was demonstrated.

GeekEV | 1 septembre 2013

@Pungoteague_Dave - I don't know, one way or the other, but Elon specifically said it was designed in from the start and would work on all existing cars. If what you're saying is true, then you're all but calling Elon a liar. I'm not sure I'd be so willing to bet against him. I would also hazard a guess that there's a big difference between a battery swap being done "by hand" versus the robotic machine the demo used.

jbunn | 1 septembre 2013

I have a question. Did the battery swap occur solely under control of robots? What we were promised was a battery swap faster than a fill-up. Did they ever say it would be fully automated? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain....

Let's say you do a three legged trip. Go from San Francisco to LA, then to Las Vegas, then back to San Francisco. Your original battery pack is now in LA. You picked up one in LA and it's now in Las Vegas. The Vegas pack is now in San Francisco. And the pack you paid for? Still in LA. So what happens now? Three battery packs and they are all hundreds of miles from where they belong. Are you expected to drive to LA, just to pick up your battery pack?

SF, LA, and LV are just an example. Use any route you like. It becomes impossible to deal with you picking your pack up again in any sort of reasonable time. Perhaps your next trip to LA is in 4 months. Tesla is expected to hang on to it for you? In the meantime, Tesla has to give you a pack to take wherever you want, not knowing when and where it will show up again.

Rental car companies deal with this type of problem, except this is more like you showing up for the rental in your own car and leaving it there with a cheery wave and a "see you when I see you!"

Now, consider supercharging is free if you will wait enough to have a quick lunch. Consider pack swap will be about the cost of a tank of gas in your car but quicker.

The economics don't make sense. Why spend the extra money to get a BEV, then spend the same amount as gas filling up, when you could fill up for free. Sure, you might be a busy person on the go, but with one supercharge you can get perhaps 500 miles. If you're too busy to wait 45 mins to travel 500 miles would you not have taken a plane? Makes no send.

SamO | 2 septembre 2013

They are preparing the hawthorne superchargers for new parking. Perhaps this will be the first swap station.

mdemetri | 2 septembre 2013

PD and jbunn +1

The SC demo was for marketing and setting up one station in CA is for ZEV credts. The chances of swapping going nationwide like SC is just about zero. Never made sense before the demo and still makes zero sense.

Tesla's real plan is more and faster SC, not swapping.

ian | 2 septembre 2013

All the pictures of the construction in Hawthorne I've seen lead me to believe they are simply replacing grass-crete with concrete.

Maybe you've seen others. Do share.

AmpedRealtor | 2 septembre 2013

I've always felt that the battery swap idea was flawed given the number of logistical and financial issues that would need to be navigated. I do believe Elon Musk when he says that every Model S shipped to date has this capability, I just don't see it as feasible or practical on a large scale. No offense to anyone here, but I'll believe the CEO over an owner with regards to this reality. As a CEO of a publicly traded company who must live with regulations governing his public and forward looking statements, it's absolutely unthinkable to suggest that Elon Musk lied about the battery swap or misrepresented it in any way.

tes-s | 2 septembre 2013

I figure I'll just drive 10mph faster, which will make up for the SC time vs a battery swap or ICE fillup.

Brian H | 3 septembre 2013

So, did the 2 cars in the demo drive off with their original batteries, or not?

Blueshift | 3 septembre 2013

Consider this model: When you buy the car you don't buy a battery; instead you buy N years (>8) access to battery swap. Swap as much as you like, anywhere you like, keep your battery as long as you like, return it anwyere you like. Batteries retrieved from swap always meet some minimal standard.

The implementation doesn't seem that challanging to me (relatively speaking). Dig, add couple hundred batteries, computer, one industrial robot. Not needed by most people may be the better counter argument. Time will tell.

Hodas | 3 septembre 2013

Re the construction in Hawthorne, I was there yesterday. It mostly looks like they are just replacing the grasscrete with concrete, but I will note that the leftmost bay has had the grasscrete removed, but is not braced/rebarred like the rest. So there could be something else in the works for that bay (which has never had a charger).

SamO | 4 septembre 2013


I was thinking the same thing. But we have to assume that most of the battery storage will be above ground, even though the swap will have to happen at ground level.

pebell | 4 septembre 2013

@Brian H: "So, did the 2 cars in the demo drive off with their original batteries, or not?"

That is not the relevant question here. The question is: if someone had secretly replaced the demo cars with standard, unprepared cars from the parking lot, without telling Elon or anyone else, would the demo still have worked?

Brian H | 4 septembre 2013

Solution: ask Elon.

pebell | 4 septembre 2013

I don't have him on speed dial :) But the "swap demo" reminded me a lot of a late nite infomercial. And in that neck of the woods, typically if you could demo something that will convince a lot of naysayers, or that will take the wind out of a very common "yeah but what if..." question, you do it.

That's why magician pull random people out of the audience, and why Tesla could at least have stressed that these were unmodified, standard production cars. But to the best of my memory, they didn't.

Elon said that every Model has has this capability build into it - not that they do not need any hardware modifications to allow that capability to be used.

pebell | 4 septembre 2013

Typo: built

eAdopter | 4 septembre 2013

PD is correct. My battery also failed (week three) and was replaced. Replacement took a full day: half to troubleshoot the issue, half to replace the battery. Significant disassembly/reassembly was required. They also wanted to keep the car and drive it 50 miles for testing, but I agreed to take it as-is and inform them of any issues.

I don't think Elon lied. He was playing to the fanboy audience (you know who you are) and displaying the potential.

Mark Z | 4 septembre 2013

Some at the swap event could see the replacement battery being moved into place. It appeared to move forward into position from where we were standing. The light reflections did revealed brief portions of horizontal movement occurring under the Model S between the time of battery lowering and raising.

I asked two of the engineers at the event if any modifications were needed. They mentioned that all the Model S vehicles were designed for swapping. Don't shoot the messenger, I am just reporting what I heard personally.

IMHO, a likely spot for a swap station would be halfway between Space X and the Tesla Motors factory in Fremont. That one station could allow Elon to swap his battery and save time when driving between the two locations.

Has anyone seen the battery being installed at the factory? If the placement and mounting takes 90 seconds or is done in a similar manner as the swap, then that would speak volumes about the subject.

pebell | 4 septembre 2013

@Mark Z:

Good question, but even the fact that the battery might be mounted to the chassis in 90 seconds by robots doesn't automatically mean it can be swapped out by robots too. For instant, it is very easy for a robot to apply the perfect amount of sealant on a pristine metal surface - but when you take it out, the surface needs to be cleaned first to remove the old sealant before a new layer can be effectively applied.

And it's the _bottom_ of a car, people! Imagine all the dirt and tar and grease and oil that accumulates there over the years that you drive! I find it so difficult to believe that such a structural compent of the car, in such conditions, can be swapped automatically and unattended, and without any form of testing you are on the road again..

I am already _thoroughly_ impressed that they can replace a battery in the shop in half a day! To my mind, that _already_ lives up to Elon's promise that Model S was designed for battery swapping! And while on the subject - has anyone noticed how measured and uniform everyone at Tesla answers questions about the battery swap demo? All that I've seen reported is exactly that one answer: "Model S is designed for battery swap". No one seems to say "automated", let alone "unattended". No one from Tesla seems to state that this works on current Model S on the road without modifications. Just that one, totally truthful answer.

rainman50 | 13 septembre 2013

I did not read all of the comments here but I thought that if you had the battery swapped that you had to return to get back your original battery. You are traveling to another city and then in the return trip get your original one back.

Brian H | 14 septembre 2013

If you keep the swap, TM bills you for the difference in battery pack value.

cb17 | 14 septembre 2013

Anyone suggesting the battery swap demo was faked is an idiot and should go join the "Moon landing was faked" club.

I was there in the front row. I personally watched the same battery I've seen in person at several SCs get removed from the bottom of the car and then watched a battery go back in and the car drive off. I can't prove it was a different battery (irrelevant), but that's about it.

alberto.zaragoz... | 3 décembre 2013


PD, could you contact me by mail? I'm new to the forum and don't see an option to do private messages.


alberto.zaragoz... | 3 décembre 2013

Sorry for the previous message. My address is

sander.wolf | 15 juillet 2014

That all those things technically work is proven... The Renault Fluence with thousands of cars in Israel and Denmark and a swap station in Amsterdam for taxi's.

but also is proven that it failled, but that has no technical reason, also other problems you read here are not addressed.

the main reason was that you could only chose for a Renault Fluence, if they made a standard for swapping and more cars were involved there was a better change of succes.
other reason can be the demand, lot of people are not interested in swapping. (I don't know why)

the advantage of swapping is the availability (chargepoints are not always available, maybe superchargers are, but what if there are more Tesla's )?
the charge speed can be managed and regulate from 1 point, charging can slow down if there is less demand.

another problem, charging in the streets at public points can be a problem if 40% of the car owners would have an electric vehicle, electricity companies cannot yet handle that, that's proven.

believe me, superchargers in the future maybe accepted by pleasuredrivers, not business men and hasty people in this busy and rapid society.

Remnant | 16 juillet 2014

It seems the main difficulty in swapping, aside from the need for heavy-weight handling equipment, is the reconnection of the battery coolant tubing to an external heat dissipation system. Is this true?

Perhaps a self-contained heat dissipation and sealed coolant system (similar to the fluid cooling in computers) would simplify and speed up the swapping procedure.

SamO | 19 décembre 2014

It's here. In limited/Beta form.

jordanrichard | 19 décembre 2014

I think before people start spouting off about the disadvantages/advantages of a battery swap, we should first wait for the blog that Elon announced. These battery swapping stations can not be cheap to build, so it will be interesting to see what the cost for this convenience will be. | 19 décembre 2014

When the battery-swap concept first surfaced, the cost mentioned was something like $70-$80 if you swapped your own battery back in on the return trip, more if you didn't. I haven't seen the dollar amounts lately.

Brian H | 19 décembre 2014

Pegged at the cost of a premium fillup of 15 gal, locally.

kimh | 14 mai 2015

Had battery swap, and it was GREAT!
No more speculation about when or whether Tesla would have a battery swap service. It's real and it's now.
I have a 2013 S85. I received an email invitation to schedule a swap. It costs $80 round-trip (2 swaps). The station is near the superchargers at Harris Ranch on I5 in California. I scheduled and got a prompt email reply with a name and number to contact. I live in the San Francisco bay area and was driving to Palm Springs in southern California. On my way down, I pulled up to the charging station and was greeted by Mark, service manager. He drove it into the service bay; I could watch some of the work on a video monitor. (Wish I could see under the car where the real work happens.) In 10 min, he said they had to change some hardware to be compatible with the swap equipment, so it would take a little longer. On my return trip, it took EXACTLY 10 min! I got a fully-charged "loaner" battery going and my fully-charged battery on return. Mark said swapping required some manual work and then a robot unbolts the battery, moves it to storage, then secures the new battery in place.
It was a great experience, and I will definitely use it on my next trip. If you have questions or comments for me, use my email below.

Kim Harris

tes-s | 15 mai 2015

It will get much faster as they calibrate the equipment.

2 years ago they did 2 swaps in 3 minutes, showing how much faster swap was than filling a gas tank, which took 3.5 minutes.