For those of you who have not been monitoring the electric vehicle market, last week Tesla showcased a new technology which effectively swapped the battery pack on a Tesla Model S in around 90 seconds. The technology is so fast that the company was able to swap the battery packs on two Tesla vehicles in the same time it took to fill up a full tank at the gasoline station. So what does this mean to the electric car industry?
While sceptics will point to Better Place when battery swapping services are mentioned, the fact is that the company was relatively unknown to the general public. It managed to go through around $850 million of investment funding but was effectively forced to close the company’s doors when Renault, a former supporting partner, failed to introduce the battery swapping technology with its new range of electric vehicles.
There are many who believe the technology associated with Better Place was groundbreaking and will eventually become the norm across the market. Whether or not it does become the norm across the market is debatable but it does offer a very interesting steppingstone from the current situation, of relatively long recharging times, to faster recharging systems in the future.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Way to go Tesla, BIG step in the right direction for EV's!"
While Better Place went through around $850 million of investment funding this is relatively minor when you bear in mind the market valuation of Tesla Motors which runs into the billions of dollars. Tesla also has a reputation which few in the EV market can come anywhere near and let us not forget the company's vocal and enthusiastic chief executive officer in the shape of Elon Musk.
The company has been looking at ways of reducing concerns and fears amongst the general motoring public in relation to electric vehicles. It is no coincidence that the company announced plans for an affordable EV just weeks ago and is now introducing technology which is ready for the mass market. Even though this technology is only available for the Tesla Model S at this moment in time, it will eventually be rolled out across the range.
Is this a monumental occasion for the EV market?
While there is no doubt this is a big steppingstone for the EV market, it is one of many steppingstones which the industry will have to navigate. It is as much the technology as the publicity which this has managed to generate, which will do the world of good to the EV market in the short, medium and longer term. Slowly but surely, the objections and the concerns of the general motoring public are reducing and new technology is being introduced as opposed to just talking about new technology.
The fact that Tesla is willing and able to support its customers in the aftermarket is something which will not go unnoticed by other EV manufacturers. We are potentially on the verge of a new era for the EV market with fights breaking out between the EV sector and the traditional fuel sector which is bringing everything into the public domain. At the end of the day, it is the motoring public who will decide which technology moves forward and which is left in the past.