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Swapping will take 90secs....Return the pack on your journey back or keep it & we'll bill you the difference

Live streamin on Tesla twitters acount

In other words, even though this may not be practical for most of you, it removes 1 more argument people have against the Model S. Imagine the guy in the Tesla store contemplating the Model S. He has lost all of his reasons for not buying the car as he's getting "educated" by the Product Specialist. His final objection is: "But I don't want to have to wait 30 minutes to charge....." Now the Product Specialist has an answer to that objection. I can imagine Elon has been pondering all of the usual objections for people to stay away from electric cars. He has developed an an argument to counter ALL of them. Well done Sir!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best take away from this demo for me is that it is simple to change battery for whatever reason you would need to. It also tells me that when (not if) the 120 or so battery will be available it would take a couple of minutes to swap. Meaning, the MS is for keeps for a very long time... not for free of course :-)

+1 mwojcie
I have a solution for those people who say that they will not personally use the battery swap. How about they add up the value of the free supercharging that they use, and put that towards the cost of swapping. Oh, and consider why they think that because they are getting free supercharging, that Elon, who is making the world a better place for all of us, should give up doing so unless it persoanlly benefits them.

Official video up finally...

About time! ;-)

Elon mentioned the battery swap would be about the cost of filling up a gas car. If the stations are about 150 miles apart, then the cost of filling up at 25 mpg would be 6 gallons. That would be about 24 dollars. So let's wait until the exact price structure is announced before being concerned with higher prices.

Since our original packs can be stored until our return trip, Tesla Motors has eliminated one the major objections to swaps. As this technology spreads, that will be the time to evaluate the practicality and cost. Until then, the 85 pack and SuperChargers work very well.

Now for the best part. You don't have to swap at each station. If you are in need of a lunch or dinner stop, then use the SuperCharger. You might want to swap at only half the stations. It's your choice. Free or fee, your choice. I like that.

The Model S is complete! I am very happy with my car, however there was this nagging feeling that what was promised was not totally delivered, like an easily swappable battery pack. Like the mail man, Tesla has delivered the world of transportation into the 21st Century an I for one welcomes this new world of possibilities. It is better than what we had it feels like the first gleamed of a new day. A supercharger can operate totally of grid out in the middle of no where and you don't have to wait for a charge if you don't want to. This is a big f*cking deal. Good work Tesla, Bravo!

I was skeptical of battery swapping right up until I saw the video. In fact I just had an argument with a friend about what a bad idea it was just a few hours ago.

But now I get it. And I'll pay for it, too.

Having done a 900 mile round trip in my P85, I speak from experience. Three times on that journey I had to wait /hours/ while a public 30amp charger got me enough power to continue.

I would have /gladly/ paid the cost of gas to battery swap -- on every single stop of my entire trip - Heck, on two of those three times I had to pay a public charger /anyway/. I am absolutely thrilled about this news.

And the fact that I get to choose between a free supercharge or a swap? That's awesome.

You can say that if I had a free supercharger option I wouldn't choose. And if there isn't a line, maybe I wouldn't swap. But consider this: in a few months there are going to be 20,000 Teslas on the road, most of them in California. There are already lines at times now. What happens in 2014? How about 2015 with 60,000 on the road, plus who knows how many Model X and a looming Gen III? No way will 6 or 8 chargers at each SC along the I5 manage the load. No. Way.

I was worried about how Tesla would solve the issue of long waits for a charge at the superchargers. This is a really elegant solution, using the same proven technology that installs batteries in their cars on the production line. Brilliant.

People will use this. You skeptics will see. I only hope it'll be ready in time for my trip to LA next month.

PS, I don't get the problem having to pick your battery up on the way back. I've never once taken a different return route from a road trip. Just wondering have any of you? I just take the fastest route both ways - and unless the distances are really great, there often aren't that many choices anyway.

Until they provide details on the cost of the swap, whether its a compelling proposition vs just charging is all speculation.

@brijam...another way to elevate the line issue is to make the superchargers even faster if possible......and some reports indicate that will probably happen not too long from now.....

I`m skeptic.
30min - 200 miles for free by supercharging.
1.5min - 270 miles for 70$+X by swapping.

Often you`re not at 0% SOC, do you still have to pay 70% if you swap from a 30% SOC to a 100% SOC battery?

1.If you go long distances >200 miles you want to make some rests.
So 30min charging shouldn`t be a problem.

@Mr. Electric - "Often you`re not at 0% SOC, do you still have to pay 70% if you swap from a 30% SOC to a 100% SOC battery?"

When I turn in the propane tank at Home Depot, they don't weigh it and take off a percentage of the swap cost based on how much I have left. They presume I wouldn't be swapping if it wasn't economically justified.

@brljam - "I've never once taken a different return route from a road trip. Just wondering have any of you? "

I do. I take I-95 to NC (shortest route) to visit family and return by Atlanta and I-75 to also visit family and rental property. Still, it's a choice whether to use swapping or not and I wouldn't in this circumstance. I might though for a quick run to Atlanta and back.

As far as total swapping cost goes, it's for the service, convenience and full charge (no range anxiety). I'm wouldn't be bothered by a $59-$79 charge; $99 might give me pause.

Battery swapping provides an interesting option for commercial users such as livery drivers, and police cars. One of their main objections has been that the down time of charging was problematic. Swapping instantly solves that problem.


I agree with you fully. It's really shocking how many early adopters are so shortsighted. "It only takes me 30 min. to charge!" This is, of course, as long as there isn't a line of cars ahead of you. But, of course, there will soon be tens of thousands (possibly 100s of thousands soon) more cars hitting the roads every year. And, though there will be more supercharging stations out in Wyoming and Nebraska, there will still be the same number of stations (or maybe a few more stalls) in the Los Angeles or Bay Area. That does not bode well for the potential for a quick, free charge.

Supercharging for free may well end up being the "gimmick" soon. If there are 10 people in front waiting to charge up for free and a $60 charge takes 1.5min., I suspect there may be more market for the battery swap in the long run than people are giving it credit for.

BTW, I love the introduction of the second car. Very Jobsesque. Like Job' "One more thing."

@brljam - "I've never once taken a different return route from a road trip. Just wondering have any of you? "

I live on Long Island and my daughter was interning in DC. Went for a visit.
I drove down with my wife, Verrazano, SI Expwy, 440 south, Outerbridge Xing, I-95 south (NJ Tpke) over Delaware memorial bridge and into DC.

While there I scratched my eye with my contact lens and couldn't drive home, plus I couldn't see due to the light sensitivity.

My wife drove home and I kept my eyes closed most of the ride.

After a while I asked her where we were and she said, "We're going through Philadelphia."

"That's funny," I said. "We didn't go through Philadelphia on the way down!"

So, to answer your question, "yes."

I don't think its us early adopters being shortsighted at all. It depends on cost vs convenience. You guys are throwing out figures like $60 and $99. Tesla is asking us to pay $150 for a duffle bag, $250 for a trunk guys really think the battery swap is going to cost $60? And let's say it does cost under $100 (I'm taking the over btw), that comes out to $1ish per kWh...that changes the dynamic of dollar per mile operating costs...

I'm not against battery swapping, i think it will be used, especially by us early adopters, given that we are the group were costs are less of an issue. But for mass market appeal? For the Gen III car? Wide spread adoption will be a function of cost.

Despite reading four pages of comments, I still think there is an important perspective being missed. Forget a car owner's perspective for a moment and consider having to architect a growing infrastructure for "re-fueling" hundreds of thousands of cars. Your job is to minimize the infrastructure cost of delivering x GWh to the fleet each day. A supercharger can service ~ 15 cars per day for 300k. A swap station can service ~ 150 cars per day for $1m. Swap stations are an order of magnitude more cost effective at scale.

There is also the additional usefulness of battery swap if there is the potential to "rent" additional range/power. For us 40 and 60 owners, renting an 85 for the day/week is a big additional market. For 85 owners, I would imagine the possibility of bolting in a 120+ if/when they become available would be a huge incentive.

I agree that it is all about marketing and removing barriers to entry. It simply checks one more box off the list of "yea, but"....

As for cost, $100 => 30 mpg and 30 gallons so 265 miles of battery range is worth about $30.

If I were Musk, I'd start putting them in at service centers to dramatically reduce maintenance times or otherwise integrate them into the service equation., you are getting a new piece of equipment, your analysis is equivalent to quick charging, which is free.

I will happily bet you that swaps won't be $30, but to wager?

I don't think swaps will cost more than $30.

care to wager Brad?

Don't forget, you are required to make TWO swaps, for if you do not, you will be 'charged the difference' whatever that your choices are:

1. Pay for one swap plus incremental charge for not swapping back
2. Pay for two swaps

That will not be $30 or less....

As I understand it, the fee will be $60 per swap (roughly a full tank (15 US gal) of premium in the US). I had guessed $40 on the thread that took guesses on how the swapping works out.

Also, as I understand it, you do not pay the difference for a newer pack unless you keep it (and thus, presumably, give up your rights to your original pack that you left behind).

What is undetermined is the fee schedule for keeping a swapped pack that is newer than your old one. The fees will be of monumental importance, since it would compete with, and could basically nullify, the $12k pack replacement program. Every 3 to 5 years, you could swap to a new pack for a fee. The already long-lasting car would be able to have the pack kept fresh for the life of the vehicle.

I am very curious about whether these stations will stock 60s and 85s. It appears (from pictures and models and mockups) that the different capacity packs are mechanically interchangeable, which leads me to assume that the only difference between an S60 and a regular S85 is software.

If this is true, then, for a fee, a 60 owner could upgrade to an 85, for a (substantial) fee plus a software upgrade.

I watched the video and searched the TM site looking for a reference to "return the pack" or "bill you for the difference". I didn't find any statements by TM. Can one of you please provide a link to these TM references?

There is an article in Forbes and a few others. Just google Tesla and check latest news.

Not sure where exactly they got their news from - assuming Tesla or Elon directly.

@Rumbles - "A supercharger can service ~ 15 cars per day for 300k."

Where did you get your numbers from? SC cost ~100-150k each and have multiple stations per site (~6-8). 20 (0.33hr) min charge x 6 stations x 24 hrs per day gives a max capacity of >400 cars. Now they will not be a lot of charging in the middle of the night, so even if cut this in half it is still more than 200 cars per day at lower cost than swapping. And of course, you can always add more stations at each SC to increase availability. Cost favors SC over swapping.

There are no problems with Tesla Station swapping, only solutions. Think positively!

1. Before a long round trip, swap your original pack near your home. Tesla stores your original. They MAY want to charge a daily storage fee to store your original pack.

2. Enjoy your cross country trip and use any Supercharger or swap station. It's your choice! If you are stopping for lunch or dinner at the SuperCharger, then you don't need to swap. Spend the $60 to $80 on food! If there is a long line for free SuperCharging, then you can choose to wait or not. Many times no line will exist, so take a 20 to 40 minute rest stop and "fill up" for free.

3. When you return home, drive Model S until you return to the nearby swap station to retrieve your original pack.

If you are taking a one way trip and decide to swap your original pack and not retrieve it, then you pay the difference. Imagine that, another problem turned into a solution.. Imagine IF the Tesla Station allows you to choose the quality of pack in storage. Would you like a Premium (new) or Regular (used) pack? So many solutions to think about and yet, never use if you don't want to.

And if you don't or cannot swap near home, here is the most important reason to always swap at the first Tesla Station when you know you will return to that station. You are saving your original pack from usage. Certainly that is worth $60 to $80 even if is a round trip from LA to SF. It's a small price to pay for flexibility and fewer miles on your original pack.

Sales will go through the roof if Tesla licenses battery swap system to police and taxi services. No business in private owner unless its $30/swap with reswap of original fully charged battery included. If its all about marketing, then take the lost. Eventually swap will be phased out as charging speed increases so hopefully they will convert swap supercharger stations into service centers if they actually build it out in significant numbers.

I read the comments from many the 85 owners and it makes me think you've forgotten that supercharging is only free (prepaid) for you, not for 60 owners. For us it costs $2K at original purchase or $2.5 to upgrade. For my situation, the 60 is more than adequate for all my normal driving, and paying $2K for one or two trips a year didn't make (economic) sense. I can just drive my other car and put in gas. Now, I have the option to pay-as-I-go for my one or two trips a year, which is awesome. Since I live in CA and mostly would be driving to SoCal and back, I expect to use it.

So, I "saved" either $2K or $10K (for 85), but I still get to drive down south and back in my electric car, with no SC waiting. Pretty sweet! Since the majority of people have a short commute, why isn't this the best solution for everyone except 85 owners?

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