Astonishingly, quick-swapping has been demonstrated and promises have been made to install this capability at a number of facilities. Lines of Teslas at Supercharging stations now seems so.....old-fashioned.
Well, why not run with swapping and give Tesla the biggest competitive advantage. There are some reasons why this might be a good idea:
Supercharging is not free. It is subsidized by the cost of the car and this may prove to be counter-productive because it raises the cost of the car, makes it heavy and everyone is waiting for magical batteries. Tesla is now on the hook to build untold numbers of these Supercharging stations and to provide free charging as well.
If you use a home charger and I use "free" Supercharging stations, you are paying both for your own charge and part of mine. Thanks!
Smaller, lighter and cheaper batteries could be used if you could FULLY charge your Tesla by swapping out every two hundred miles in ninety seconds at any one of a huge number of swapping stations.
People without home chargers, who can't install one, would be able to gas up like anyone.
Fleet use would be advanced. Even police and highway patrol cars could be electric as they would only be out of use for a couple of minutes a day.
The battery is the World's Most Expensive Gas Tank. Let Tesla own the damned thing and I will pay to fill it up as required.
If there was a profit to be made in swapping, then franchises would pick up the load and let Tesla just build cars. There would be vastly more stations, everywhere. The profits do not need to be huge as stations make little off of gas and depend on their mini-marts. The swapping facilities would result in more people coming in, and keeping old customers who don't buy gas anymore.
Used batteries could be charged at off-peak hours whereas most Supercharging use is at peak hours.
Swapping stations everywhere, like gas stations are, would completely remove any objections to electrical vehicles. One could still charge up at home, but now every home renter, fleets, everyone, would have access to quick swaps. People renting Teslas at airports...who wouldn't want to do that?
A turn-key ramp system produced in volume would be much cheaper than the custom pit units now envisioned. They could be installed in the back lots of gas stations, etc. in a few days.
People would not care if the swapping stations are near compelling destinations, on expensive real estate, since it is a drive-through and they will only spend ninety seconds there.
While other electrical car drivers will be lined up at glorified milking stations, trying to kill time, calling the police over cutting in line, abandoning their cars and all, Teslas will be done in a minute and down the road.
People will accept paying for a swap as it should be far less than gas if it is a universal application.
Tesla could promise to introduce updated batteries over time. The battery warrantee would be forever. This future-proofing would be a competitive advantage.
The Supercharges now being built are not a waste. They are necessary to get Teslas more universally accepted. Later, when swappers are ubiquitous, the Supercharging hardware can be used in remote areas and for emergency use. One would think that a percentage of cars will have damaged batteries and could only charge externally. Same for home units, not a waste because they are perfectly useful for typical commutes and for the first leg of a long trip, and users pay for off-peak electricity without the profit that swapping stations would require.
Swappers might give Tesla the greatest competitive advantage right now, not having to wait on magical batteries. To date battery advancement has been disappointing at best, so why not simply work around that and eliminate the range issue using what is available.
Of course, if there are indeed magical batteries that Tesla knows will be available in a couple of years that either have great range or very quick recharge abilities with Superchargers, then swapping would not make sense, except in perhaps a few locations.