Teslas Supercharger Stations offer battery swaps for model S
In 2013, Elon Musk presented a brand new piece of technology that could offer you the possibility of exchanging the battery of a Tesla Model S in only 90 seconds. This method of changing batteries with one easy move transformed electric cars into something as acceptable as their petrol and diesel powered sisters. The initial plan was to spread the tech to Supercharger stations by the end of 2013, but this never happened.
This is named Battery Swap and it is said that offers a quicker but expensive alternative for Model S owners that are in a hurry and need a quick recharge. Tesla owners can benefit from a free charge from any Supercharger. The disadvantage is the fact that in order to fully recharge the battery it is required a 75 minutes recharge, which can prove difficult if you are in a hurry. So, people tend to turn towards pumped hydrocarbon fuel because is faster and available at any street corner.
The Battery Swap was meant to fill this whole between electric and regular vehicles. The principle of functionality goes like this: you stop by a Supercharging station, place your car over the special Battery Swap and wait while it unlocks your battery and changes it in a new one. In 2013, Musk conducted a little experiment. He used a Battery Swap that took only 90 seconds and at the same time tried to refill an Audi`s tank, which took almost 3 minutes. This was meant to underline how useful a Battery Swap can be when it comes to saving time. Regular Supercharging is free, but the Battery Swap is done on charging. So, they estimated it will cost around 60 to 80 dollars which will be around the same price as filling up with gas. Also, you will need to come back or have your battery delivered home after recharging. This part is still unclear.
However, for an unknown reason, the Battery Swap did not appear in Supercharge Stations by the end of 2013. Some say that the delay is due to the extra titanium and aluminum protection that was added to the Model S after some batteries burst in fire. So, this layer of protection must be removed before the battery can be replaced, which determined some changes to the machinery itself. With all the changes, a battery swap takes almost 3 minutes, just like a tank refill. Tesla says that they plan to reduce the time to one minute.
Bottom line, Battery Swap is available for users that had made a previous appointment. Because Tesla asks Model S owners to come and try it, it represents more an alpha test, than an awesome beta test. If we take into account the price of a battery pack ( more than 10 000 dollars) and the difficulty of tracking down who owns which battery pack, there will be some time passing by until we will see a regular use os Battery Swap.