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Well the Fisker is an almost 10 gallon tank, that should take around 1 min to fill, so our EVer are still in the same position..
The made it a little unfair with this Audi with around 20gal tank.

I agree with Elon. That it takes the skepticism out of the equation. And yes, EVs are the future!
I'm sure Tesla will do a better job then "Better Place" with the swap technology, it's another 2 steps forward on what Better Place bankruptcy took back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well the Fisker is an almost 10 gallon tank, that should take around 1 min to fill, so our EVer are still in the same position..
The made it a little unfair with this Audi with around 20gal tank.

I agree with Elon. That it takes the skepticism out of the equation. And yes, EVs are the future!
I'm sure Tesla will do a better job then "Better Place" with the swap technology, it's another 2 steps forward on what Better Place bankruptcy took back.
Not getting out of your car to touch the fill up handle is well worth the extra minute.

Also, this will ease the congestion on all Super Chargers, kill two birds with one stone. Many high net worth individuals really wouldn't mind paying for the swap, god know how much they make per hour.

Seeing into the future, consumers of Model X/S will use the swap while Blue Stars will use the Super Chargers.

I don't see this design for road trip but as a first step of making it work for apartment dwellers.
 

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"Long or expensive"

Hmmm, let's see ... ~$60 for a swap (rough price of 15 gal of gas). If we use 265 miles as the max range of a pack, this means the equivalent "mpg" is about 17.5. Suck.
This is similar to the argument about paying for public charging versus charging at home for 'free'. Ultimately what you're buying is time and not electrons, especially if the swap stations are co-located with free superchargers.

I'm not sure the "equivalent MPG" comparison is as appropriate as "Tesla values your time at $60/hr" For simplicity I assumed supercharing takes an hour. I know it actually varies depending on your starting level, battery size and importantly if you have to wait to even start charging. Regardless it comes down to choice. Most of the time I imagine I'd opt for "free/long" versus "fast/expensive", but if I'm on a roadtrip I may well decide that it's worth $60 for me to save that hour or so and keep going. In an ICE car you have no choice. It's always "expensive" to use the term you provided. I think overall it's pretty brilliant marketing to put to rest yet another EV concern held by the general public. Elon is good at that.

The devil is in the details of course: How long will it take to put the network together? Will batteries always be swapped like-for-like? What does this do to your battery warranty? Will it impact vehicle valuation? Can you swap in an 85KwH when you normally have a 40/60? Etc.

I'd still rather be driving a Karma, but I'm happy to see Tesla succeed for several reasons, not least of which is that it's my only viable "EV Plan B" right now :)

Brent
 

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This is similar to the argument about paying for public charging versus charging at home for 'free'. Ultimately what you're buying is time and not electrons, especially if the swap stations are co-located with free superchargers.

I'm not sure the "equivalent MPG" comparison is as appropriate as "Tesla values your time at $60/hr" For simplicity I assumed supercharing takes an hour. I know it actually varies depending on your starting level, battery size and importantly if you have to wait to even start charging. Regardless it comes down to choice. Most of the time I imagine I'd opt for "free/long" versus "fast/expensive", but if I'm on a roadtrip I may well decide that it's worth $60 for me to save that hour or so and keep going. In an ICE car you have no choice. It's always "expensive" to use the term you provided. I think overall it's pretty brilliant marketing to put to rest yet another EV concern held by the general public. Elon is good at that.

The devil is in the details of course: How long will it take to put the network together? Will batteries always be swapped like-for-like? What does this do to your battery warranty? Will it impact vehicle valuation? Can you swap in an 85KwH when you normally have a 40/60? Etc.

I'd still rather be driving a Karma, but I'm happy to see Tesla succeed for several reasons, not least of which is that it's my only viable "EV Plan B" right now :)

Brent
Agreed, it's a pretty great PR move and removes just about the last nagging doubts/concerns anyone should have. Now let's see how quickly they can build out the infrastructure. As you say, the devil is in the details. For instance, how much will the extra fee be if you do not return the "swapped" battery (this point confuses me...why is there a fee at all and why do you have to return it??).

The EVer model of the Karma truly is the best of all worlds. Need to go further? There's a gas station on every corner. It'll be a decade before battery swapping stations are even remotely as ubiquitous as a gas station. Then again, you will only really care about that on long distance drives.
 

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Well the Fisker is an almost 10 gallon tank, that should take around 1 min to fill, so our EVer are still in the same position..
The made it a little unfair with this Audi with around 20gal tank.
I filled my car up on the way home last night and took well over a minute for the whole sequence, from swiping my card, entering the billing ZIP code, to waiting for the filler to settle down to avoid any spills and then getting back in the car, etc.

I agree with Elon. That it takes the skepticism out of the equation. And yes, EVs are the future!
I'm sure Tesla will do a better job then "Better Place" with the swap technology, it's another 2 steps forward on what Better Place bankruptcy took back.
Yes, this is a great response for folks who mainly want the capability of going on a long trip, but don't really do it very often. Henrik talked about this as being the same as having a passport; it does not mean that you are travelling abroad, just that you can if you want to. And a vast majority of people with passports and BEVs will never need to use the battery swapping service.

The "Better Place" concept was pretty much doomed from the start, IMHO, because it started with the design of the battery, not the car. You may have the world's most advanced battery, but if the only car maker that adopts that technology makes ugly, undesirable cars, there is no point. After all, you don't buy your cell phone on the basis of its battery technology - it's the other way around. Tesla was smart enough to engineer this capability into their car, but focused on the car first and foremost. Once the car became popular, then they announced this capability, not the other way round.
 

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What will happen when road grime accumulates on the bottom of the vehicle? I could see stuck bolts and alignment issues (especially in cold weather areas) after a few years.
 

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Not getting out of your car to touch the fill up handle is well worth the extra minute.

I don't see this design for road trip but as a first step of making it work for apartment dwellers.

That would depend on the cost, obviously. I don't think an apartment dweller would be willing to pay $100/swap couple of times a month. Although one possible model would be to buy the car but lease the battery and pay an annual subscription fee for the battery and the electrons based on your annual mileage. Depending on the price, this may be a viable financing model.
 

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That would depend on the cost, obviously. I don't think an apartment dweller would be willing to pay $100/swap couple of times a month. Although one possible model would be to buy the car but lease the battery and pay an annual subscription fee for the battery and the electrons based on your annual mileage. Depending on the price, this may be a viable financing model.
In one of the interviews Elon said that the two options currently on the table is that you pay the difference if you go from 40/60 to 85 or you can have your pack returned to you after paying the freight. The warranty follows the pack. I am curious to see how all these packs are accounted for (i.e. are there "house" packs that are swapped or will Tesla swap customer packs with other customer packs?).

I don't think many people will really want to pay 20k extra to go from 40kwh to 85kwh. So this begs the question how long will you be able to keep the pack? If its 90 days or so why would you buy a 85kwh? You could just buy a 60kwh and swap every 3 months.
 

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The "Better Place" concept was pretty much doomed from the start, IMHO, because it started with the design of the battery, not the car. You may have the world's most advanced battery, but if the only car maker that adopts that technology makes ugly, undesirable cars, there is no point. After all, you don't buy your cell phone on the basis of its battery technology - it's the other way around. Tesla was smart enough to engineer this capability into their car, but focused on the car first and foremost. Once the car became popular, then they announced this capability, not the other way round.
Tesla announced the ability to do battery swaps back at the March 2009 "premiere" of the Model S (I was there), but have been basically mum on the feature in the years since. I think most had assumed it was nixed or largely scaled back.

Regarding Better Place, the battery swaps got the most attention since they were the only ones offering that service, but the main problem was their business model not the technology. Better Place was essentially an additional middleman between automakers and car buyers. They promoted themselves as lowering the cost of EVs to consumers, but as an extra middleman they by necessity increased cost (by a lot it turned out).
 

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In one of the interviews Elon said that the two options currently on the table is that you pay the difference if you go from 40/60 to 85 or you can have your pack returned to you after paying the freight. The warranty follows the pack. I am curious to see how all these packs are accounted for (i.e. are there "house" packs that are swapped or will Tesla swap customer packs with other customer packs?).

I don't think many people will really want to pay 20k extra to go from 40kwh to 85kwh. So this begs the question how long will you be able to keep the pack? If its 90 days or so why would you buy a 85kwh? You could just buy a 60kwh and swap every 3 months.
I can see charging for an upgraded battery, but if you do a same-battery swap, it does not make sense to charge the owner to get their own battery pack back. Tesla makes all the batteries in-house, so they warrant every pack regardless of how it got into a car. It would make more sense to apply the warranty to the car without regard to what battery pack happens to be in it so you are always assured of having a working battery in your car during the warranty period and Tesla can deal with the complications behind the scenes.
 

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Tesla announced the ability to do battery swaps back at the March 2009 "premiere" of the Model S (I was there), but have been basically mum on the feature in the years since. I think most had assumed it was nixed or largely scaled back.

Regarding Better Place, the battery swaps got the most attention since they were the only ones offering that service, but the main problem was their business model not the technology. Better Place was essentially an additional middleman between automakers and car buyers. They promoted themselves as lowering the cost of EVs to consumers, but as an extra middleman they by necessity increased cost (by a lot it turned out).
I am sure you are right although I never paid any attention to this technology because the car selection was pretty pathetic.

On the other hand, if an EV battery manufacturer, B456 for example, would incorporate this technology and service into their batteries, the incremental added cost would be relatively small and would be a good source of continuing revenue for them.
 

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I can see charging for an upgraded battery, but if you do a same-battery swap, it does not make sense to charge the owner to get their own battery pack back. Tesla makes all the batteries in-house, so they warrant every pack regardless of how it got into a car. It would make more sense to apply the warranty to the car without regard to what battery pack happens to be in it so you are always assured of having a working battery in your car during the warranty period and Tesla can deal with the complications behind the scenes.
Here is the info on the warranty:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjfGinkRm8Q

I wonder how one determines how old the pack is that is being swapped?


The swap price always applies- if it is done at an automated swap station. It is unknown at this point if a swap is done at a Tesla service center if the labor is free to swap in your original pack (after paying freight).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbkhIWsXrw4
 

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I wonder how one determines how old the pack is that is being swapped?
Probably a formula combining age, remaining capacity and most importantly, the number of charge/discharge cycles on the battery. Given how heavily instrumented the packs are, it should be a simple matter to calculate a score.

IMHO, the warranty scheme is way too complicated and they will ultimately simplify it so that it does not vary from pack to pack. I think they will end up insuring whatever pack is in your possession based on the original one that you bought with your car.
 

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Ultimately, the car companies will standardize on batteries. You will just pull into a Gas/Battery station and pay for the swap, it won't matter who made your electric car. This is shallow thinking on Tesla.
 

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Ultimately, the car companies will standardize on batteries. You will just pull into a Gas/Battery station and pay for the swap, it won't matter who made your electric car. This is shallow thinking on Tesla.
I am not so sure about that, at least not in the foreseeable future. There is going to be enough battery chemistry and configuration variability that many car companies will consider their batteries part of their "secret sauce" and make them proprietary. Even if they make their batteries in the same form factor and with the same connections (also highly unlikely in the short term), the gas/battery station would have to stock batteries from every different EV manufacturer to be able to swap them in and out, plus deal with the age difference of the batteries coming in/going out, etc.

Just look at the state of the ICE cars now. After over a 100 years of development, while there are some manufacturers that license/use each others' engines in their very low end models, most of the cars built and sold today use a proprietary engine design that can't be easily exchanged for someone else's engine, even though the inputs and outputs have been well defined for many many decades. Even exotic car makers like Koenigsegg that started off using highly modified AMG-supplied engines, eventually manufacture their own engines to be able to get the exact performance profile they need out of it.

I think the manufacturer-specific battery will be with us for a long time.
 
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