Skip to comments.Tesla to demo quick-swap electric car batteries
Posted on 06/18/2013 1:54:45 PM PDT by Red Badger
Tesla Motors said Thursday it would demonstrate a way to quickly recharge electric cars by swapping drained batteries for fresh power cells.
Tesla chief executive and founder Elon Musk used popular the messaging service Twitter to put out word that a "live pack swap demo" was taking place at the company's design studio in the Southern California city of Hawthorne.
Video from the event was to be posted on the Tesla website about 0430 GMT on Friday, according to Musk.
Making it fast and easy to restore full power to electric car batteries is seen as a big step in winning over drivers hooked on the convenience of refueling vehicles that run on petrol.
Tesla last month said that Musk would invest $100 million in the surging electric car maker, and that it would repay a loan from the US Department of Energy ahead of schedule.
The California maker of high-priced electric vehicles said it would launch a new stock offering of some 2.7 million shares along with $450 million in convertible notes to raise fresh capital.
Musk was to purchase $45 million in common shares and another $55 million in a private share placement, the company said.
Tesla said it expected to raise some $830 million and use the proceeds to prepay a loan from the US Department of Energy.
The moves came amid a stunning surge in the value of Tesla, which has just a tiny share of the US car market but turned a profit for the first time in the past quarter.
Tesla shares were up slightly Tuesday to Wednesday to $102.83.
The shares have more than doubled this year after struggling through 2012 on production delays and questions about whether it could turn a profit.
On May 8, the California-based firm announced $11 million in net income for the first quarter as revenues rose 83 percent from the prior quarter to $562 million.
Tesla cited strong global demand for its $62,000-$87,000 Model S, saying it is receiving orders at a rate of more than 20,000 per year worldwide, adding that it seen "significant upside potential in Europe and Asia."
Although Tesla has been on the upswing, the road has grown bumpier for the electric car market.
Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5
Manufacturer Tesla Motors
Also called Code name: DarkStar
Assembly Hethel, Norfolk, England
Menlo Park, California, USA
Body style 2-door Roadster
Layout Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Electric motor 1.5, 2.0 : 248 hp (185 kW), 200·lb·ft/s (270 N·m), 3-phase 4-pole; 2.5
Non-Sport : 288 hp (215 kW), 273·lb·ft (370 N·m), 3-phase 4-pole; 2.5
Sport : 288 hp (215 kW), 295·lb·ft (400 N·m), 3-phase 4-pole
AC induction motor
Transmission Single speed BorgWarner fixed gear (8.27:1 ratio)
Battery 53 kWh (Lithium-ion battery)
Electric range 244 mi (393 km) using EPA combined cycle
Wheelbase 2,352 mm (92.6 in)
Length 3,946 mm (155.4 in)
Width 1,873 mm (73.7 in)
Height 1,127 mm (44.4 in)
Curb weight 2,723 lb (1,235 kg)
Related Lotus Elise
Designer Tesla Motors
The reason they are “quick swap” is just in case the battery is on fire when you are taking it out of your car.
I have a diesel that I love.I’ll never again drive anything else,even if it’s given to me.That most assuredly includes electrics.
Will this be like the copiers where the ink cartridges are the biggest expense??
Can "old" batteries be re-celled?
It had seemed to me that if they could come up with a slide in battery back that was interchangeable, you wouldn’t own your own pack. You would merely rent a pack until you get to the next station.
That would eliminate the range problem. Of course that’s if you coild go at least 250 miles on a pack.
Nice car. Should be able to power it with those white tripod things in the background. Look forward to the model with one mounted on the hood. Should REALLY get great mileage once the speed is up on the highway!
They haven't really even given them a chance - why destroy them?
Given that some of the Tesla batteries weight 800 pounds, I suppose the meaning of “quick swap” would depend upon the definition of “quick”, as Willy Clinton might say. Not to mention you’d need a “spare” 800 pound battery laying around to swap, plus the chain hoist to do the swap with. Wonder if your average soccer mom can operate a chain hoist good enough to move around a pair of 800 pound batteries without dropping or bumping anything important and without a lot of unnecessary high amperage arcing.
You may not own the battery pack, but one way or another you will be paying for it, and it ain’t cheap.
The true value and actual cost of operating these cars won’t be known until after the battery’s average life span under real world conditions is established.
It would over 5 hours to charge the battery with one of the windmills in the background assuming 2MW, 25% capacity factor and no losses. Losses turn it into an all day affair (or more windmills per car). Is that an efficient use of the birdchopper and land area.
I understand that. You’d probably still pay a mid-range price for a swap. $40-$50 bucks.
I’m thinking you’d have to have an awful lot of batter packs on site to handle the business though.
” you wouldnt own your own pack. You would merely rent a pack until you get to the next station.”
It would just about have to be that way. If not when your batteries were near the end of their useful life you would just go to a station and swap it out. If you just purchased new batteries you would not want to have it replaced with an old one.
Yes that’s true.
I read recently about an Israeli company that tried the same concept: a network of battery-swap stations. I believe they're going bankrupt. And that's in a tiny country.
I'm not predicting Tesla's future by any means, but this has been tried and I think it shows just how unready this technology is for mass use.
They'll just have to put up a battery swap station every 28 miles in the desert. Immigration Reform is all about ensuring an adequate supply of Mexicans to man them all.
are the quick swap batteries carried with you are do they just show up at your destination charged and waiting for you?
Plus the fire factor and the danger factor in the event of an accident. I remember that being a big deal.