Tesla Motors Inc First Battery-Swap Stations Coming Soon

Tesla stockBlomst / Pixabay

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s much-hyped battery-swap station will finally make its debut in California by December, according to a report from SlashGear. CEO Elon Musk, along with his team, showcased the system over a year ago, and in the same event, revealed how the Model S battery can be changed in half the time taken to fuel up a regular car.

Reasons for the delay

However, the EV manufacturer could not meet the earlier delivery promise and kept on extending the deadline to install the fully automatic, robotic systems. According to Musk, the company needed to focus on some important issues, which include setting up its battery producing gigafactory in Nevada and expanding its network of supercharger stations.

When Tesla sets up the battery stations, it will once again join automakers that are eligible for credits, but there is one thing to be cautious about. The company needs to prove that the system is used sufficiently, which raises another question about how popular the stations will be. This question could be answered only after setting them up, and users will need to pay $60-$80 for a battery swap, along with an option to retrieve their old packs on the return trip or pay an upgrade fee. This implies that Tesla Model S owners who cannot deal with the logistics may keep on using the superchargers.

Battery stations to help Tesla earn ZEV credit

The Palo Alto-based company is thinking over speeding up its battery station efforts for economic reasons also. Previously, Bloomberg reported that California rejected Tesla for some of its zero-emission vehicle credits at the beginning of this year after revising the rapid fueling rules. As per the refreshed norms, cars should be fueled to a 285 mile range in 215 minutes, which implies that the Model S that charges to run 160 miles in about 30 minutes was knocked out of the list. Additionally, hydrogen-fueled cars grab most of the ZEV credits, as they can be fueled within the set time.

Before this amendment, Tesla sold excessive ZEV credits to other automakers, which helped the company post a profit for the first time last year. Tesla has, however, managed to rake in profits with or without the ZEV credits.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com

7 Comments on "Tesla Motors Inc First Battery-Swap Stations Coming Soon"

  1. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevregs/1962.1_Clean.pdf
    Effective: 07/10/2014

    –“For purposes of subdivision 1962.1(d)(5)(A), a Model Year 2009 through 2017 ZEV, inclusive, shall be deemed a Type III, Type IV or Type V ZEV if it has the capability to accumulate at least 95 miles of UDDS range in 10 minutes or less, at least 190 miles of UDDS range in 15 minutes or less, or 285 miles of UDDS range in 15 minutes or less, respectively”

    –“Examples of fast refueling events include any refueling of an electric vehicle that meets the time and mileage fueling criteria for a Type III, IV, or V ZEV, including the refueling of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle or any swapping of the depleted battery pack in a battery electric vehicle with an equivalent or larger capacity, fully-charged battery pack.”

    –“To obtain fast refueling credits, the ZEV manufacturer must apply to ARB’s Executive Officer for such credits. No credits shall be granted without Executive Officer approval of the application. Each application shall be specific to Type III, IV, or V ZEV vehicles of a single Model Year. ”

    –“The fast refueling application and data submission requirements in this subdivision do not apply to manufacturers of fuel cell electric vehicles because such vehicles are already designed to be fast refueled at all times.”


    So… Tesla, has to jump through hoops, submitting claims each month, quarter or year to show how many Tesla drivers actually swap their battery pack…. and each application must be individually approved by the CARB XO.
    Meanwhile, every FCV sold, gets the extra ZEV credits simply by existing, even if never rolled out of a driveway, or driven any substantial number of miles.

    So, we will see what CARB does next. Because they have a habit of changing the rules to keep FCVs with a huge advantage.
    Regardless of how many million of miles that Tesla’s EVs drive, actually displacing miles that would have been driven on gasoline… which should have been the goal of CARB,… they are still holding on to the idea that FCVs deserve more ZEV credits. Not because they displace more gasoline miles… just because CARB still thinks that people want FCVs more than EVs (even if people stop caring about 5 minute refills).

  2. Pretty soon it won’t matter what American politics do to Tesla. Auto Dealers need to adapt to the 21st century, come up with a positive productive strategy, instead of a protectionist destructive strategy. Those who say it will end their business, are correct, they will prove themselves right into bankruptcy if they don’t adapt. Big Oil claims to be future ‘energy’ companies, and always searching for new sources of ‘energy’. Well then I say make good on it, start really doing it. For starters, Exxon, go buy local utility companies improve the grid, buy coal mines improve them, buy Uranium/Thorium mines and promote clean safe salt based nuclear, heavily invest into the leased solar PPA, distributed solar power game. Conoco Phillips, go contract farmers to grow bio-diesel in very large quantities enough to offset drilling. Toyota if you want to push fuel cells, then explore better fuels for fuel cells, hydrogen is an expensive dead end.

  3. And Hydrogen cars ARE Electric cars, with one expensive, inefficient step added (the fuel cell).

  4. Phil Williamson | Oct 16, 2014, 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm |

    And why use expensive hydrogen when there’s a cleaner cheaper fuel that needs very little infrastructure modification…Bio-Diesel. Put our farmers to work growing something other than corn for (lost energy) ethanol

    I’d take a battery EV or a diesel/electric hybrid over a hydrogen fuel cell any day of the week.

  5. The 15 minute rule (it is 15 minutes not 215 minutes) was bought by the oil industry which wants to push hydrogen cars in order to keep people addicted to fueling up on their hydrocarbons. (About 98% of hydrogen is made by steam-reforming natural gas.) The swap station should qualify to fulfill that rule, IMHO. But again, the oil industry lobbyists are strong. But hydrogen is a boondoggle . . . fuel cells are still expensive, hydrogen is no cheaper than gasoline (Electricity is MUCH cheaper than gasoline per mile), and there is virtually no hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

  6. Looks like you deserve to be . . . deletedagain.

  7. Swallow Elon’s cons!

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