back to article Tesla unveils battery-swapping tech for fast car charging

Even as Tesla Motors labors to build out its North American network of "Supercharger" recharging stations, the electric carmaker has unveiled an additional system that promises to get its vehicles juiced up and ready to run in less time than it takes to fill a traditional car's tank with fuel. At an event at Tesla's Hawthorne …

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Re: MassXacceration=force

I do realise that there's a fair amount of inertia to overcome in a battery pack and obviously precautions would have to be taken so if -say- the driver has had his suspension dropped a bit the machine doesn't punch the car though the canopy...so some sort of range-finder might be a valuable addition to the machine. You could build in a deceleration phase so the device is moving relatively slowly as it nears the car.

90 seconds still seems grindingly slow to me for a dedicated machine for a single -relatively simple- purpose.. Just last night I saw a video of a machine that grabbed blobs of molten glass; blew them into bottles and deposited them (still glowing) onto a conveyor belt. It did this at a rate of 400 bottles per minute. You have other machines that routinely chuck tonnes about. The car the battery pack is for -for example- could move exactly how far in 90 seconds? A fully-loaded HGV could have 40 tonnes the best part of a mile away in the same 90 seconds.

10 seconds might be optimistic; but it's certainly something to aim for.

BTW...how a printer does fucking anything is not a fair comparison...

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Boffin

The connector is the really big headache

You've got to design a quick-swap connector that can support very high currents and voltages, and associated environmental shielding for the swappable battery. 150kW implies 150A at 1000V, or 600A at 250V, or something like that.It's got to be safe. It's got to work in an automotive environment, where salty water is being sprayed around it at 80mph. It's got to have consistently low resistance or else the car will go a few miles and cut out with a thermal alert (or just catch fire).

The lead-acid battery in your car is connected using a spanner and contact jelly, not a plug and socket, for very good reason. The much lower-current hot-swap connector in a single-kilowatt UPS is a weak point. I've seen what happens when it fails. Not pretty. I suspect Boeing's Dreamliner woes were also a failed design iteration of this same problem.

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Electric vehicles take the lead..............

It would add context to mention this that crisis and price gouging scheme was made possible by "free market" deregulation. And also to note that the total cost to California is over 50 billion, and that the bankruptcy of Enron meant it only paid 202 million back or about 1-2%. The Enron records were destroyed when Bldg 7 was demolished on 9/11, along with DOD records needed to investigate what happened to the 2.3 trillion Rumsfeld said was missing on 9/10.

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Meh

Re: Electric vehicles take the lead..............

"It would add context to mention this that crisis and price gouging scheme was made possible by "free market" deregulation. And also to note that the total cost to California is over 50 billion, and that the bankruptcy of Enron meant it only paid 202 million back or about 1-2%. The Enron records were destroyed when Bldg 7 was demolished on 9/11, along with DOD records needed to investigate what happened to the 2.3 trillion Rumsfeld said was missing on 9/10."

And that's your first ever post to this site.

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I would assume they are going to be placed for example at each end of a drivable range, eg one on the M4 around Slough, and one at Bristol. So if you are a city user, you can take your electric car out of London, swap to a fully charged battery for the drive to Bristol, if hotels provide charging stations then you can top up overnight. If you then go on to Exeter, perhaps there would be another battery swap station available there, so you could return to Bristol the same day. If you need to cover large distances you can swap out the battery pack. Seems like a good idea and a positive step forward, as charging times are the Achilles heel for electric vehicles.

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It continues to amaze me how much hate there is for electric cars in general and Tesla specifically. Does it have something to do with the Model S being a fantastic car that the haters will never be able to afford? I don't live in the city, but I do live in a metropolitan area and even the least expensive battery (250 km) would serve for an entire week of normal driving.

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No hate, just a healthy dose of reality

Having worked with battery powered train engines that use swapable batteries I simply can see the range of problems. Even for a single type of vehicle there is battery aging, environmental effects (heat/cold), how you discharge(speed/load) it that can reduce available capacity faster than planned. And unlike a car that has fuel stations every few kilometers so "loosing" 50km from a tank and/or being able to top of quickly if the last user has forgotten to the net of battery stations and chargers is a lot less developed. Add in the needed storage space that must be a lot more accessible (battery maintenance) than a underground tank and the need to enhance the power distribution network in many places if electric vehicles go "mass market" since city grids are not build with that much reserve capacity on the final leg (1). And in many european countries that means MASSIV work since the cables are underground on that level

Add in more than one typ of car and it gets even more problematic, We either get the "Einheitswagen" with everybody driving the same(2) or ineffective space use or multiple batteries(3)/batterie types. Options 2 and 3 will increase complexity of the automatic change system OR require trained workers at the "fuel stations" to change the batterie(s). While even weak and small people can operate a modern automated fuel pump and finding the inlet works (most of the time(4))) exchanging a 50+ kg batterie (let alone a 500kg one) needs training and equipment(5)

The "fuel based" infrastructure is already there, developed over a century and had/have very low initial costs (6) while batterie infrastructure needs a HUGE startup investment from multiple companies (fuel station companie, power companies, cities maybe) to make the ecar useable. IMHO alternate liquid fuels like NGV/CNG using CH4, some of it produced in biogas units and/or through won through Methanisation using water/solar/wind/greenies on exercise bikes is a better alternative since the gas distribution network in many european countries is a lot better developed and the distribution uses "standdart fuel pumps and tank" systems (at least they look like it for the end user)

(1) Power companies have a good idea how much is needed in a given region and the growth is, at least in europe, planned so the "build to fit". In the past that has resulted in costly/lengthy overhauls, the last in germany in the late 70s/early 80s. That went mostly "unseen" since they combined that with the switch to underground cables in many cases

(2) That is okay for me if it is build like a Mercedes G or a simlar "blocky, high-seating, preferably 4WD" able to deal with german pothole collection sides (aka german roads below Autobahn or federal highway/Bundesstrasse). Strangly many people prefer sportier cars and do not mind the repair bill / fixup needed after finding a nice deep pothole...

(3) 2-n instead off 1 big - enhancing change time

(4) Recently saw a blonde filling a petrol burner with diesel....

(5) Having prevented in more than one case a booster cable used the wrong way despite the batteries being clearly marked I have serious doubts Joe Average can reliably swap them himself

(6) Refueling stations can be (and in 3rd world countries often are) a 200l barrel and a hand pump.

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Anonymous Coward

and let's also add...

...that these batteries are a fire hazard and need to be stored properly. Hell, the last place I worked had to store their rechargable batteries within temp. and charge guidelines to minimize the risk of a dangerous fire (for a popular ipod portable player - no highs no lows). Storage charge was only allowed to be 80% of max. capacity.

What is the legal responsibility for damaged/counterfeit batteries?

How is the price per % of full charge on the battery going to be verified given the different wear rates?

Given that there is no federal standard on the size/shape, cell capacity, battery mounting nor the connection reuirements, this isn't going anywhere soon. It's going to resemble what happened with memory cards, but probably a slower elimination. Are you going to require the same battery for a large car as you would a throw-a-way?

While I look forward to more energy efficient vehicles (and coal generated electricity is more efficient and less polluting that gas), there are still the infrastructure and standards that don't exist yet. Let the car companies pay for most of the infrastructure in population dense areas to weed out the problems first and let govt. funded universities play with other fringe concepts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and let's also add...

Ah, and petrol is NOT a fire hazard needing to be stored properly?

The other "problems" can easily be addressed through regulations and industry standards.

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Re: and let's also add...

Actually it is not much of a fire hazard and save storage is easy. Petrol fumes do not self-ignite and the temperatures needed do not occure normally. And since access to the storage can be limited to the fuel in/outtakes (that can be secured) you can burry the hardened tanks under ground. Stations have burned down but the tanks survived.

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The problems are:

1. It is unreliable. A seized or cross threaded bolt could stop the process halfway through leaving you marooned at the filling station. There are numerous other ways this could happen

2. You have to recharge more often than you have to fill your tank. At least twice as often and possibly more so depending on what size battery you buy.

3. It costs about the same as filling your tank for far less range.

4. Batteries degrade with use. The range is likely to be unpredictable depending on the age of the battery you get.

5. Recharging the batteries takes time wherever it happens. Although you can recharge in 30 minutes, this reduces the life of the battery. If you recharge over - say 4 hours - and the swap station is doing swaps at the rate of 30 an hour, this implies a stock of 120 batteries undergoing charge at each swap station.

6. 120 80kWh batteries undergoing charge over four hours adds up to 2.4 Megawatts. Fifty such swap stations consume the full output of a medium sized nuclear power station. Better build more power stations PDQ!

7. Swapping batteries on stage with everything brand new clean and dry is one thing. Doing it with cars off the street which could be filthy and covered in salt spray in winter is quite another. Charging batteries covers in salty water sounds a recipe for disaster to me.

8. Battery swapping stations have been tried before in Israel, where they proved to be commercial failures. There is every reason to suppose these will suffer the same fate.

It doesn't sound at all practical to me. If you are going to have to visit a filling station (you have to on a long trip - the range is far less than a modern diesel for instance) you might as well buy a conventional petrol or diesel car. It is likely to be a lot cheaper and a lot better too.

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Re: and let's also add...

No. Once underground it is safe.

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Mushroom

Re: and let's also add...

Actually it [petrol] is not much of a fire hazard and save storage is easy

Remember Buncefield?

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Re: and let's also add...

Last we where talking fuel stations not tank plants. Different amounts, different type of storage

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No mention about how many 'battery swap bays' will be needed, what space they will occupy, and how much will they cost to build. And, crucially, what will it cost the vehicle owners to get a swap. It will be far more involved than just setting up one swap bay for a demonstration. Much more expensive too.

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Unhappy

@harddrive

RTFA.

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Boffin

Trip planning will be hard

Planning any non-trivial trip with the constraints that you have to visit all of your destinations without running out of charge AND also finish up with your original battery pack is an NP-hard problem. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.

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Happy

Re: Trip planning will be hard

"Planning any non-trivial trip with the constraints that you have to visit all of your destinations without running out of charge AND also finish up with your original battery pack is an NP-hard problem. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain."

Probably better with the "joke" icon, unless you can prove your assertion.

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Re: Trip planning will be hard

SatNav. Might need a firmware upgrade.

Simples.

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Elon is definitely "juiced up"

This PR nonsense is for the gullible. How many people are going to spend 100K on an electric vehicle they can't use for anything but local city driving when they can buy a clean Diesel for half the price? Do you see any of these quick-charging stations on every route that you would normally desire to travel? Do you plan your travel so that you can stop every few hours to have the battery re-charged or a battery exchanged? Does this really make any sense to anyone except Elon?

A low cost EV might make sense for the city if you have good public transportation that you don't mind using for long distance travel but for the majority of people EVs are not even an option. It's laughable to think that electricity is free or that Tesla is going to provide free charges or battery exchanges. That's like expecting the oil companies to provide free petrol or diesel fuel. It ain't gonna happen in this lifetime. A diesel is a far more practical device for all commuting over an EV.

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Re: Elon is definitely "juiced up"

And that is THE problem with E-cars. There is no good public transport system in most european regions. As soon as you leave the few big cities or in case of local transport the city center it breaks down. Existing networks are often running at capacity for the long hauling and building more railways gets you a lot of citizens' action committee protesting so it takes a decade or more before you start building.

The grennie special "take the bike" does not work all that well either if you have customer contact and it rains (1) nor does "live where you work"(2) since just because it is near does not mean it is easy to reach when you need to. Currently my choice is "15min/10km by car" or "30km/two or three changes/may includes a 2km walk" by bus/train.

(1) Not that "eight wet / sweaty developers" and "open plan office" would smell much better...

(2) I did most of the time live within the same town where I work, typically within less than 15km - and in no case it took me less than 45min to go that distance by bus/sbahn even during the 6-22h "bus available" time. Two of my jobs had 24/7 operation times...

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Anonymous Coward

PR crowdturbation

Hello?

The real world called, wants its reality back.

Until they have a mass market, this scheme is doomed.

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Range anxiety

It's unbelievable that people keep banging on about electric cars not having enough range. Yes, petrol and diesel cars can travel more miles on a tank, but most people are filling up no more than once a week. Yes, there are some people that burn up a tankful everyday, but they are relatively few. Not everybody will be able to fit an electric car into their situation. For those that can, they offer many benefits such as, lower energy costs, resupplying from a plug at home, lower highway fees and exemption from congestion zone charges. If you don't have a carport or garage where you can fit an outlet for charging, they might not work out for you. Maybe your employer will fit a few charging ports. There is usually some government grant program for this sort of thing. As demand goes up, hotels, restaurants and shopping centers will offer free charging to attract customers. Some already do.

Forget about Hydrogen. Honda's Clarity vehicles have US$2.5million fuel cells. Even with economies of scale and advancements in the technology, the fuel cells will still be much more expensive than Li batteries and sensitive to heavy vibration and shock. Think about getting into minor accident that tweaks your bumper and kills your £10K fuel cell. I'll wager than insurance companies aren't going to write policies to cover that. The other major downside is that there is NO H2 fueling infrastructure and you should also see how Hydrogen is produced (pretty dirty). There is petrol, diesel and electrical infrastructure in place.

I'm not even dreaming about a $100K Model S. Way too expensive. If I could afford one, I could also afford a Lambo!. Maybe the Lambo would be used, but it would get way more female attention, wink wink, nudge nudge. Unfortunately, I'm way out of town and any other leccy car doesn't have enough range to get me to the city for shopping and back. If I could get a vehicle with 150 miles of range and/or the shopping centers provide charging points I could seriously consider an electric. In the mean time, I have my eye on getting a VW Jetta Wagon (Estate) 2.0 diesel.

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Re: Range anxiety

You pointed out the major issue with EV not being taken up as a real alternative for a large portion of the population is the lack of charging facilities at home.

I live in the suburbs of a large UK city but as most of the town was built in the 1900s when there was virtually no cars there are no garages or off street parking where i could charge a EV (sometimes cannot even park outside the house on the road) while only 5 minutes drive up the road there is a petrol filling station.

Tesla have the right idea with hot swap batteries but i would be better if you didn't have to mess around going back to get your own battery and instead the swapped batteries you just rented based on how many miles of range the battery could do depending on its age this way you would not be paying $50 one week for a battery where you got 500 miles and then the next time you paid $50 and only got 300 miles because the battery was old.

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Unhappy

Does anyone get the sense of goalposts being moved here?

"All EV's are f-ugly and I wouldn't be seen dead in one."

"OK the Roadster is pretty good looking but I can't afford it"

"OK the S class is affordable but it does not have the range I need for my life"

"OK the (updated) network of charging stations in the sat nav helps but it will take me hours to charge (for free)"

"OK so I can change the whole battery faster than some cars can fill up at 1/2 the price but I have to come back here to collect my (recharged) pack for free?"

I'm hearing a rather whiny note here, but it's not coming from the engine compartment.

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Re: Does anyone get the sense of goalposts being moved here?

"OK so I can change the whole battery faster than some cars can fill up at 1/2 the price but I have to come back here to collect my (recharged) pack for free?"

While your statement here is technically correct, how far does the huuuugggeee tank on the audi get you, and how far does a fresh battery pack on an EV get you.

The price comparison is pure marketing.

Don't get me wrong, the technology is getting better, and you can make it work as a second car. But all this faffing about with supercharge stations and battery swaps is a marketing bandaid on a fundamental issue.

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Holmes

Re: Does anyone get the sense of goalposts being moved here?

Yep. But Luddites have always been like that.

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Holmes

They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

"The batteries that are swapped in are just loaners. Each swapping station will stock about 50 batteries, which drivers are expected eventually to return in exchange for their own, original batteries."

That implies that once they have swapped out their 50 loaner batteries they have to wait for one of them to come back before they can serve their 51st customer.

At the average supermarket filling station on a reasonably busy day, how long would it take for them to get through 50 customers?

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Re: They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

The two fuel stations I typically use have 6 and 12 fuel pumps for personal cars and during the commuter hours all are in use. So in both cases less than an our before stocks ran dry - not enough for the first delivered to be resonably recharged.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

"At the average supermarket filling station on a reasonably busy day, how long would it take for them to get through 50 customers?"

Not that I recall the last time I saw 50 Tesla owners drive up to the local supermarket filling station, but presumably that will take long enough to charge at least some of the 50 other batteries that the previous drivers have swapped out?

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Re: They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

Those swapped out batteries are as I understand the story being held for a re-swap to their original owners. So can't be used for other customers. So they can service a maximum of 50 Tesla owners having swap-out batteries at any one time.

It might work if Tesla owners are extremely rare. As I said in the title, it had better not get too popular. Look at the numbers of cars through a busy filling station, and work out what proportion could be Tesla owners if the maximum is 50.

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Holmes

Re: They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

"That implies that once they have swapped out their 50 loaner batteries they have to wait for one of them to come back before they can serve their 51st customer."

You are assuming that they will not charge any of the batteries they have swapped out and will simply stock up until re-collected or sent to another station for collection by their owner.

I don't think that's correct.

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Re: They had better hope this doesn't get too popular

"You are assuming that they will not charge any of the batteries they have swapped out and will simply stock up until re-collected or sent to another station for collection by their owner."

I'm understanding from the story as written by El Reg that they will charge all of the batteries they have swapped out. But that these will then have to be held in stock or sent to another station because they will have to be returned to the original owner.

If that's wrong, please explain in the context of what the story is stating:

"The batteries that are swapped in are just loaners. Each swapping station will stock about 50 batteries, which drivers are expected eventually to return in exchange for their own, original batteries. Their batteries will be fully charged, but they'll have to pay for a second swap to get them back."

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Pint

The idea is old

In fact a few years back in El Reg's pages there was a video showing the process of swapping.

Swapping is a great idea and like another reader from Quebec pointed out ( Hi there ) we do have a lot of power on the grid that's shipped to the USA and a lot of extra capacity on our networks so electric cars are not a problem. In fact Hydro Quebec wil be delighted to have our cars running on electrics and so will we. Hydro is owned by Quebec . Every step taken to get rid of the oil industry and it's pollution is welcome. What i do see as a bit of a problem is that in order to be truly practical and reduce costs we need a standard battery pack or very few models and make all electric cars with a swap mechanism. It's nothing to add to the gas stations along the highways and have battery and quick charge stations. The future IS electric.

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Half-baked idea, thought to have been killed off, is resurrected.

Swapping a battery involves taking away a component of the car that weighs 550 kg? That's a huge proportion of the car that has to be removed and replaced in order to perpetuate the illusion of seamless electric motoring. And on top of that you have to bring back the loan battery and swap it back against your original 550 kg battery pack...How contrived does it get?

Why don't they simply offer whole cars to borrow at various, reasonably spaced out locations instead of selling them to you for a fortune and trying every trick imaginable to make it seem like a viable proposition afterwards? Do like they used to in the old days: if you needed to ride in a hurry from London to York, or Moscow to Vladimir, or wherever, you would cane your horse and then change horses at inns along the road every n miles once the nag was knackered...You didn't necessarily need to buy and own one of them eco-green horses, and they didn't try to swap out its muscle pack or guts...you could just leave your horse in the stable and borrow another one.

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FAIL

Re: Half Baked idea: Borrowed cars

I wanted, a couple of years ago, to try the car club system that existed around where I worked. The idea was that I'd pick up a car when I needed it and so on.

BUT, on top of the cost of the car there were such Draconian rules about return times and condition, with such significant fines that I would never have dared to drive one, let alone drive in a normal way, in traffic and I certainly couldn't have risked taking a drink or a snack with me,.

So I carried on taking my own car in with me.

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Anonymous Coward

Location, location, location

Maybe they should start with an island, such as Oahu, where the population is contained in a relatively small space, to work out the bugs. No one is driving a couple hundred miles from the nearest station and it would be easier to track the batteries. You'd also know how many vehicles there were (barring the occassional import, but that shouldn't be a stat-breaker).

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Pint

Electric cars are fantastic in every way...

It's the current battery technology that's not quite ready for Prime Time. It needs at least one more doubling of overall performance, preferably two.

The other annoying aspect of e-cars are the idiot fanbois (the vast majority of whom couldn't afford a Tesla) that fail to acknowledge the cold hard reality that "The Battery Problem" is a genuine problem. They're simply not being honest with themselves. They should really try to cut back their Kool Aid consumption.

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Anonymous Coward

Most "supercharger" stations will have 4 to 10 bays. So while you can be on your way to 90 seconds, that might not always be the case. Tesla owners can get a new battery for a fee or get a free charge. That charge takes sometime (30 minutes for a range of 200 miles), so there is a possibility of a few issues. For starters, all of the bays are occupied and they are all going for the free charge. So you might be waiting there to get a battery replaced or to get a charge. That 30 minutes is not a full charge, that takes longer. Not the ideal solution when you need to charge the car and all bays are occupied and you can't change the battery either. It is not like a petrol station that you could just drive down the road and hit a different station. Tesla is putting these stations near restaurants, shops, etc. So if someone needs to drop the car off at the recharge station and then walk to their destination (their walk would be farther than parking in the lot of the business) it is doubtful that after 30-minutes or so they will come and move their car so someone else could use that bay. Even Tesla knows this could be an issue:

http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

1: "What should I do if all Supercharger stalls are occupied when I arrive?

Check to see if current users have left contact information on their dashboard and give them a call. Most customers charge for 20 to 60 minutes."

2: "There are people waiting to charge, but I am not done charging; what is charging etiquette?

We ask our customers to use courtesy while charging. Once your Model S has completed charging, we ask that you move your vehicle to make the spot available for other Model S owners."

3: "I am Supercharging, but not as quickly as I expected, what could be wrong?

The Supercharging rate may vary due to battery charge level, current use of the Supercharging station and extreme climate conditions."

If all bays at a petrol station are in use, you know within a few minutes one will be available; it takes 3 minutes or so right? What happens if there are 4 bays of which all are used and two cars ahead of you? You could be waiting a few minutes, you could be waiting upwards of an hour. You can't go elsewhere and all you can do is wait.

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Does the Government really want to help the environment?

Pop in some tram wires above the roads in the city and let electric cars use them for free.

If you start in London, someone from the City should be fully charged by the time they hit the M4...

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Re: Does the Government really want to help the environment?

Has been tried. Has quite a few problems and basically only works with busses and (semi)dedicated traffic lanes (google OBus, Solingen)

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do the maths..

all the numbers in this article are near useless, how far will you get for your $50 battery swap compared to the equivalent $50 of gas?

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Why will this succeed where Better Place failed?

So just as Better Place are folding Elon Musk comes up with exactly the same idea and hopes to make it work? Better Place were smart enough to start from markets like Israel where people do not drive long distances and relatively few battery swap station would suffice. And petrol is expensive in Israel. And there are lots of cars that are leased through one's place of work. And it still does not work. In the US even these advantage disappear. Musk really needs to say what he is going to do differently from Agassi.

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Meh

Re: Why will this succeed where Better Place failed?

"Better Place were smart enough to start from markets like Israel where people do not drive long distances and relatively few battery swap station would suffice."

People say that.

Israel is a pretty small country.

So why would you bother to swap batteries in the first place?

Whereas the US is known for being large.

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Anonymous Coward

Tesla has missed the plot

Tesla seems to be coming to grips with the reality that their business model is not viable thus they are using the dupe the public approach to try and hang on a little longer. Their cars are over-priced and impractical yet they continue to try and sell sand to the Arabs. Expect Tesla to fold their tent before much longer as consumers have clearly said no to EVs.

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Someone has has missed the plot

Aside from there being a rather long waiting list to buy their cars, and they are increasing production....

I find it rather interesting that everyone on this thread has not noticed that the Model S was engineered from the start to have a swappable battery. Which was mentioned at the launch of the car....

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Pint

Re: Someone has has missed the plot

"...engineered from the start to have a swappable battery..."

Well, if the fuel tank in my car was worn out and needed to be replaced every four or five years, then I'd want it to be easy to replace too.

By the way, how long have you had your Tesla S?

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Re: Someone has has missed the plot

NIce try - but, no, I don't own one. Not an early adopter. I know a couple of people who do, though.

The battery on the Model S was designed to be swappable - not just replaceable - this was mentioned before and during the launch.

If you want to be able to swap a 1/2 ton in/out of a car by robot, it has to be designed for that. Doing it so that a mechanic can do it it in a couple of hours would be be a completely different problem in engineering terms.

The data on battery wear from the Roadster is interesting, by the way. Looks like a temperature controlled battery with decent charging control does some quite interesting stuff for battery life. Something on the order of 1.5% per annum degradation, apparently.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Some people are missing the point

You'd only change your battery if (1) You were on a long journey, over 250 miles, and didn't want to stop for 30 minutes (2) Oh no that's it any other occasion you'd either Supercharge/Charge or just charge at home/destination.

For comparison it's like having a car with a petrol guage that doesn't work (I have one of these) and having a 10l petrol tank in the boot for when you misjudge something - not planned to be used but there just in case. And if I'm driving for over 250 miles a stop is probably a good idea to refresh, my fuel tank is bigger than my bladder in any case!

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