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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?

They may be working on swap in Hawthorne.

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

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.

+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.

Battery swap would be great for enduro racing!

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.

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?

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

PD;
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.

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.

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.

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.

@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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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).

@Hodas,

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.

@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?

Solution: ask Elon.

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.

Typo: built

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.

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.

@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.

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.


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