While many people mocked Tesla when it recently announced plans to introduce an affordable EV within four years, it is worth noting that the company has now delivered on previous promises regarding battery swapping facilities. The company flagged the introduction of a new type of battery swapping service early last week and when it was finally shown to the general public, it certainly did not fail to impress!
The new system will allow Tesla Model S drivers, although this will be expanded to other models in the future, to pull into a Tesla built recharging station. They will then be given the option of a free fast charging service which will recharge their current batteries within 30 minutes or acquire a fresh battery pack for around $50. Depending upon the type of battery used by the driver there is the potential to obtain around 260 miles per full charge.
Where are these recharging stations?
At this moment in time there are no recharging stations available but Tesla is looking to introduce the first "swapping locations" between Los Angeles and San Francisco and Boston to Washington. Each of the stations will cost around $500,000 to build and while the free recharging service will not net Tesla any income it will eventually repay the investment via income from the battery swapping service.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "While many of those criticising the electric vehicle market have focused upon the limited number of charging stations around the world, we only need to cast our minds back 80 years to see the same situation for gasoline stations. Yes, Nissan has done the electric car industry a very interesting turn with a video commenting upon the lack of gasoline stations just 80 years ago."
There are very few companies around the world who are willing to put their money where their mouth is along the lines of Tesla. This is a company which fully appreciates many motorists are concerned about journey capacity and is willing to do something about it. The fact the company is looking towards battery swapping technology is even more commendable when you bear in mind the recent collapse of Better Place, which offered a very similar service.
Why will Tesla succeed?
While there are many questions from motorists regarding EVs, and the electric vehicle market in general, the majority of problems so far have come down to reputation and trust. There are few companies in the world who as reliable at delivering as Tesla. As a consequence, the company’s promise to install recharging and battery swapping facilities across the U.S. is taken as gospel and will lead to very encouraging headlines and improved consumer confidence.
This move by Tesla will also place more pressure on its competitors who will now be forced to follow suit in some shape or form. The more companies which are addressing the battery recharging and battery swapping issues the more visible the EV industry will become and eventually this will lead to increased sales. Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla, is having a monumental impact upon the industry.
While many companies promise groundbreaking technology, few can deliver in the way in which Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors operation continue to do. Each time he announces a new project, new technology or a new service, he delivers on time which is leading to greater confidence from the general motoring public. The move to install battery swapping stations across the U.S. will put more pressure upon the company's competitors all for the good of the electric vehicle market in the long run.