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Battery swap for us 40 owners?

How will this be implemented for us 40 owners?

Will we have access to this function at all? I would assume so.

Will they be stocking 60 and 85 batteries? If only 85s as would seem expedient, will we (or 60 owners) be able to access a full 85kWh battery, or will be be limited to 40 and 60 respectively? If so, will we still be charged the same?

How long will we be able to keep the new battery? Having an 85K battery in my car for a week sounds like it could be worthwhile for a number of reasons.

If we assume they'll only be stocking 85s, does this mean it would be an easy route to upgrade a 60kWh battery to an 85 when it is convenient? Also, will downgrading be possible? Would a future upgrade to 120 or whatever also be equally convenient?

I believe all of us 40 owners recently received an invitation to upgrade to a 60kWh battery and supercharging facility for $10K and $2K. I had basically dismissed it as useless. Depending on answers to the questions above, I might have to reconsider. I'll be making a call to Tesla tomorrow to see if I can get some info. I'll post responses here.

As a note to any Tesla management that might be lurking on the forums:

As an owner who is interested in the long term success of TMC, I don't think it would be "fair" for us 40 owners (or 60 owners) to be able to use additional range of the 85 battery pack for no additional charge. It would alienate the 85 owners who paid for that additional facility. However, the battery swaps become a very valuable option for us 40 and 60 owners if you add a fee to allow us to "rent" the additional range for short periods of time. In order to keep from alienating the 85 owners, you should make the "rental fee" substantial enough to justify the 85 expense but low enough that us 40 and 60 owners can occasionally make use of them. Say an additional $40/day for us 40s and $20/day for 60s? That way, it would cost over $7000 for a full year of use of the 85 for a 60 owner and $56,000 for 8 years vs. the $10,000 difference. An 85 owner shouldn't have much to complain about then.

However, as a 40 owner, if you insist on allowing us to use the full range (or even 72%) of the 85kWh pack for the cost of the "fill up", I wouldn't object too vigorously. :-)

I don't think they lurk in the fora.

This is a no brainer for Tesla. Many people can afford the 60kwh vehicle but occasionally need the range of the 85kwh battery, range battery rentals fills this need and opens up the Model S to a new market segment. Of course in the future the range battery will be 100, 120, 150 perhaps 200kwh? Tesla likes the line the only car that improves over time, well battery swapping makes that more true then ever in the metric where it counts most for EV acceptance, range.

Depending on how much that fee is (a big "depending"), this could revolutionize Tesla ownership more than the $12k battery replacement program or even supercharging. If you can swap to a newer pack after a few years, for a fee, why not? Screw the $12k. The car will last many, many years (few moving parts and aluminum body with mostly aluminum frame). Now, with swapping, you have an easy-access way to keep your pack new every 4 or 5 years.

This would also be true if you can swap to a bigger capacity.

I am very curious as to whether they will be stocking 60s and 85s, or only 85s.

The 60 and 85 packs are most likely interchangeable from a mechanical standpoint...it seems to me that, if the car would only need a software upgrade, then someone who bought a 60 could swap to an 85 and keep it for a fee (based on the currently undetermined fee schedule for keeping a newer pack, plus a 60-to-85 upgrade fee).

These details could be just as huge as the swapping itself.

Yes, I'm surprised that in all these swap discussions, no one is looking at the potential of upgrades (both permanent and temporary).

The batteries can be recharged at the Supercharger station. TM would not have to manufacture or stock extra battery packs. Last weekend I notice several large crates labelled "TES-BATT" at my local service center. My guess is that TM will be offering battery swaps at the service centers. I may have to buy more TM stocks.

I reserved a 40, but upgraded to a 60 (and dropped all the options except the rear-facing seats). I assumed I wouldn't take this car on long road trips, but now my assumption is thrown out the window. I am very interested to see what TM will do for the 40/60 owners.

I dipped into savings and bought a car 3 times more expensive than any other car I ever bought. I'm loving it, but I can't believe this just keeps getting better.

Way to go TM!

TFM;
actually, they scan both this and TeslaMotorsClub more or less continuously (to see what's happening with their babies). Responses are rare, but they do happen.

You would think that all model S cars are the same and could use any size battery. Thus, it would seem possible to upgrade to a bigger battery for a fee. However, there is a Jan. 2013 post from Tesla on these forums that says this with regard to battery upgrades:

"No, you will not be able to replace your current battery with a different size battery. We recommend configuring your Model S today with the battery that will meet your current, as well as future range needs."

That quote makes it quite clear that they would have to stock both 60 and 85 batteries (the 40 is software limited 60) and that you would be limited to the size of battery you purchased. If the quote is incorrect, hopefully Tesla will revise it soon.

@mjritter
I question whether that's an answer based on physical considerations or just a response that allows them flexibility in the future while not cannibalizing current sales. I don't think that answer contractually obligates them to not upgrading batteries but does not answer whether it is actually POSSIBLE to change batteries.

Anyway, if they stock both 85s and 60s at each location, which seems REALLY inefficient both logistically and mechanically, then most of my questions regarding the battery swap would be answered. However, it would be even less cost effective for us 40 owners to swap out a battery if we can only utilize 72% of the battery at full cost.


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