June 9, 2013 – Vol.18 No.15
BATTERY SWAPPING OPENS NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR TESLA MOTORS.
by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News
Unlimited range, higher resale value, access to new battery technologies and less expensive cars are possible.
Tesla has said all along that its Model S has a swappable battery pack. Now the company, with Elon Musk on the stage, has a shown this capability in a public launch. The swaps take about 90 seconds, less than the time it takes to fill an empty gas tank. Swaps won't be free (like the charging), but will cost the same as the market price for filling up the 20 gallon (or so) tank of a luxury car, $50-60.
Battery swap stations will be built along side with charging stations in an unannounced schedule.
Watch the Tesla video:
Once the network of swap stations are built, new horizons will open up for Tesla, as well as other electric car makers who follow Tesla's lead:
--- With recharging or battery swapping Tesla cars will have the same unlimited range as petro-fueled cars.
--- Model S owners with a lesser range battery pack will be able trade up to a larger battery pack for a fee said (in other publications) to be equivalent to price difference in battery pack size when new.
--- As lithium-ion battery technology improves Tesla owners should have the ability to swap up to the next generation battery. (A fee probably here as well.)
--- Different battery chemistries, such as aluminum-air or lithium air, should be able to swapped into existing cars when they become available. (Fee too!)
--- Older cars should retain higher value since a battery pack, near the end of its useful life, can be just swapped away for fresh one. (Old electric cars may have resale problems with buyer anxiety over possible battery replacement.)
--- Batteries in storage at swapping stations will be able to store energy, particularly from solar arrays, and use that energy to operate the facility at night, or feed excess electricity to the grid.
--- Swapping could financially separate vehicle from its battery allowing Tesla to offer much less expensive cars while leasing the battery or offering some kind of pay-as-you-go battery swapping service. ( Consider this: The total cost of ownership of a conventional car is the car plus expenses, such as fuel. The total cost of ownership of a battery swappable electric car would be the car itself, regular expenses and the cost of battery swaps. Aside from the added benefit of zero tailpipe pollution, swappable cars could be charged at home while the cars themselves, without battery pack, could cost dramatically less, competing with petro-fueled cars in price.
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