By on December 22, 2014

tesla-battery-swapping-demo-video-1.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale

It’s official: As of this week, select Tesla Model S owners will be able to swap battery packs in a pilot program along the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The pack swaps will take place “at a custom-built facility” across from the automaker’s Supercharger station in Harris Ranch, Calif., with each scheduled swap to cost “slightly less” than a full tank of gas. The swaps are expected to take three minutes, due to the added time needed to remove the titanium and hardened aluminum plates protecting the pack.

The pilot program — announced in October of this year — is meant to test the systems used in the swap, as well as determine demand for such a procedure. Tesla states that with further refinements, a swap could take less than a minute to accomplish.

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24 Comments on “Tesla Opens Battery Swap Pilot Program In California...”


  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    test post

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    spam filer again – WTFilter?

  • avatar
    theupperonepercent

    The problem with the supercharger network is that you absolutely must find something to do with yourself for a full hour. You regain about 22 miles per hour when charging at a supercharger.

    Superchargers would probably be best if they had them at 80% of interstate rest stops, 100% of airports and major shopping malls. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to set up.

    The battery swap program should alleviate these issues with time constraints, but TESLA truly needs to gradually make all of their batteries 300 mile max range by swapping out and upgrading customers.

    The P85D uses more energy so it’s capped at around 250 miles range.

    Jack Baruth or Kriendler:

    When will you have a review or look at the P85D?

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      22 miles per hour?

      Tesla says a full 80% charge in 40 minutes, so 212 miles on 85 model, and can get 50% in 20 minutes.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy949

      Incorrect about superchargers giving 22 miles of range per hour. Supercharging adds about 170 miles in a half hour.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      From empty they charge at 400 mph. Also they are putting thousands of them online and more are coming. Battery Electric is on the edge of hitting the big time in the next 5 years. Tesla doesn’t even have real competition yet so once this next generation comes out from multiple manufacturers will be exciting times.

    • 0 avatar
      hamburglar

      S85 owner here,

      1. Superchargers charge at 120kW, which adds approximately 200 miles of range in half an hour.

      2. Depending on your driving habits, its not hard to get 300 miles on a single charge.

      3. The EPA unfortunately decided to test the P85D on a 90% charge cycle. Other Teslas are rated on a 100% charge cycle. The 85D is not “capped” at 250 miles. The P85D is heavier, but this is overcome by the better efficiency curve of having 2 motors.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Where did you get that “… regain about 22 miles per hour when charging at a supercharger”drek?

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I know this is just a pilot, but pretty cool idea.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    It would be interesting to know how swapping your battery would affect your warranty. On the other hand, what if my car has battery pack problems? Can I simply swap out the out-of-warranty dead one for a new one?

    • 0 avatar
      theupperonepercent

      This program would automatically negate your battery pack problems, because you are leaving your battery and moving on with your life.

      It’s actually ingenious (I believe it was started for a similar EV type in Israel)

      TESLA covers battery packs for 8 -12 years anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        Better Place was the company in Israel that swapped batteries. They’ve since gone bankrupt. The difference with BP’s system was that you leased the batteries instead of owning, so the swap meant nothing to the car owner. Tesla owners buy their batteries, but IIRC, Tesla’s swap plan was intended to be more of a loaner system; you were expected to swap back into your own battery pack on the return trip.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The system scans the pack before swapping, the car knows when there are issues with the cells. You’re not free and clear.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        I can see the plot of a CSI: Los Angeles episode turning on tracking rich suspect’s history down via scanning battery log to find when he swapped battery, what his driving habits were like when he had said battery…I’m sure the firmware logs everything and registers to cars like PnP’ing USB gadgets on a computer.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Your old one won’t be out of warranty for 8 years. Even if you bought one of the first Model S, you still have 6 years to go on your warranty.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Question of TTAC editors: what is the deal with your spam filter?

    Posts are randomly blocked, with no feedback; instead of message post was declared spam the post simply fails to appear. No explanation about what to change; I submit test posts they appear. I alter real post (only few sentences) and after 5-10 mod’s none of them fly.

    Your comment section has become practically useless. Can you at least give tips for beating spam filter?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Avoid the text string “s*d” in your posts, where *=i, as in s*de, cons*der, etc.

      The blocked post will be reviewed and show up later, so no need to re-post. But I tend to anyway out of frustration.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Also, you can bask in the aroma of the nearby feedlot whilst a stranger fondles your pack.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Just occurred to me: ‘… each scheduled swap to cost “slightly less” than a full tank of gas …”

    That means, given the current trend in gas prices, the swaps will cost less and less (Elon wouldn’t lie to us).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Uh oh Tesla, you mistakenly put a photo of an A8 in your collage! That man will reach his destination sooner than your customer, in quite luxurious leather and walnut surroundings.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Gets them carb credits, but even Elon isn’t a big fan of the idea as he has stated. Not very useful for consumers when you can charge for free…that’s saving 60 per hour assuming the swap costs about 60.

    Station uses a tech to remove the shield manually then an actual tsla factory machine that installs the battery to do the swap. Estimated cost per swap station is 500,000 vs a few thousand per supercharger station.

    • 0 avatar
      rolosrevenge

      All they needed was one station in CA to get the additional CARB credits on every car sold. That will pay for the cost of the pilot station and they can also asses demand. If people use it a lot, we’ll probably see more, if not, well there’s always those credits.

  • avatar
    7402

    One more piece of evidence that Musk’s long game is the battery business, not the car business.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    Elon and SillyCon valley ,a perfect duo to steal your money.

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