Tonight, Tesla is set to show off their battery swapping tech that will hopefully become available to Tesla S owners sometime this year.
The details are still pretty scant at this point, but Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, has posted tidbits via Twitter regarding the new battery swapping tech that will make long distance commutes with prolonged stops in the battery powered car a none issue.
If you recall, or have been paying attention to Tesla, than you would know that the company has plans to install their Supercharger stations through out the US, strategically scattered along major highways. Tesla says a 30 minute charge on their Supercharger station will provide 200 miles of range. They plan to install 27 Supercharger stations this summer and have 98% of the US and Canada covered by 2015. It’s an agressive road map to say the least.
So how will their battery swapping tech fit in with their Supercharger stations? It will likely be complementary. There are numerous Tesla Roadsters on the market today, and apparently they’re not battery swap ready. These owners will use the Superchargers, where as Tesla S owners will use the Supercharger when a hot swapping stations isn’t available. It will be interesting to see how fast Tesla can swap out a battery, if they can make it an automated process, and what will be required (cost, knowledge) of the Tesla S owner.
That all being said, Better Place, an Israeli start up that promised battery swapping stations throughout the world, just went under. They failed because they couldn’t get car manufacturers to agree to a standard battery setup, thus making the concept impossible to bring to fruition. Tesla on the other hand only need appease themselves.
Note: the above pic is a tweeted image from Elon Musk. While it shows a car at a gas station it seems to indicate that their stations will be faster than a traditional gas pump.