« Previous | Next »

Rumors swirling about Tesla introducing Model S battery-swap facilities

As mentioned by various participants on the Tesla Motors Club web forum this weekend, it has come to light that on Friday, tucked away on page 38 of the company's 10-Q filing with the SEC, the company mentioned this intriguing tidbit:

Other factors that may influence the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, and specifically electric vehicles, include . . . our capability to rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist but which we plan to introduce in the near future . . .

Imagine for a moment what this might mean. You're driving from San Diego to Silicon Valley. Instead of just using Tesla's SuperCharger stations along I-5, you swing into one of their battery swap stations (located at their SuperCharger stations? or located inside the facilities of a partner company? or entirely new facilities built and operated by Tesla?), pull up, some robot arms reach under your Model S, unscrew the battery pack, pull it out, store it away for recharging, fetch another freshly-charged battery pack, position it into place, mount into the bottom of your car, zip zip zip, all tightly bolted on, presto, you're on your way in less time than it takes to fill a tank of gas. Which, funny thing, is exactly what Elon Musk just claimed was coming in one of this recent tweets:

tesla tweet

Perhaps Tesla's also cooking up a new scheme for how to buy the car? You buy the car but not the battery. You pick out your Model S the way you want it, and then you "lease" a battery. So suddenly the price of the car drops from say $85,000 to say $45,000 or $50,000. And you essentially have a "subscription" to batteries, which you can recharge on your own at home or at any of the growing number of places including Tesla SuperCharger stations, or, you pull into one of the swapping stations and just swap it out for a quick in-n-out change.

Which makes me think Tesla ought to cut a deal with In-n-Out Burger. You drive in, get your food, and they ask, in addition to "would you like fries with that?", they ask, "would you like a fresh battery with that?"

The next month or two are gonna be interesting . . .

Thinking of posting a comment to this blog entry? That's nice. But please note: As of January 19. 2014, I no longer review comments. So they will never appear. So don't bother. If you want to comment on something you read here, go to twitter and write your comment there and just include "@brianstorms" in the tweet. I am no longer moderating the comments here; I just assume everything is spam and Intense Debate seems to have abandoned support for its product.

« Previous | Next »