Tesla Opens Battery Swap Pilot Program In California

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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tesla opens battery swap pilot program in california

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.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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5 of 24 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 22, 2014

    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.

  • Nickoo Nickoo on Dec 22, 2014

    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.

    • Rolosrevenge Rolosrevenge on Dec 24, 2014

      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.

  • 7402 7402 on Dec 22, 2014

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

  • STRATOS STRATOS on Dec 22, 2014

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