They say the mark of a great company is knowing when to cut your losses and run. Well it seems as though Tesla is on the verge of ditching its battery swap service which was launched with the Tesla Model S electric vehicle. The idea was that battery swap stations would be built across America, allowing Tesla Model S users to book an appointment which will allow them to swap their discharged batteries for fully charged replacements.
The idea seemed good and all Tesla Model S owners were contacted but only a few took up the company's offer to visit the one and only battery swap station open to the public at the moment.
Superchargers are the future!
Elon Musk revealed his inner thoughts on the battery swap technology and superchargers at the company shareholders meeting this week. As ever he was honest, upfront, and answered the many questions put to him from the floor. It soon became very evident that the man himself believes the battery swap technology was only ever a backup while battery technology and recharging technology was improved. So what next?
Tesla is of the opinion that electric vehicle owners are not overly keen on making an appointment to swap their batteries at swap stations. It is the inconvenience of planning ahead, the time taken to switch the batteries and the fact that there are so few stations available at the moment which has created this opinion amongst the public. The company continues to roll out the building of battery charging stations using superchargers which offer a relatively quick recharge over the time it takes to grab a coffee and stretch your legs.
Did Tesla get it wrong?
The battery swap stations took many by surprise when the company announced their creation and the incorporation of this particular service in the Tesla Model S vehicle. However, it soon became clear, as Elon Musk confirmed today, that this was merely a backup system while the creation of a supercharger network was put into place.
It is debatable whether the battery swap service had any impact upon electric vehicle owners and those looking at EVs but it certainly put the industry in the headlines at the time.
Battery charging standards
Slowly but surely the relatively large number of battery charging standards has been whittled down to just a handful, with industry leaders looking to streamline the number of options available. It is inconceivable to suggest that Tesla will not be one of the major players in the battery charging industry especially when you bear in mind the company’s worldwide exposure and recent escapades in China.
The subject of battery charging standards should be resolved over the next 12 months with the industry now more focused than ever before. When you bear in mind that journey anxiety is still a major issue in the minds of many electric vehicle users, and potential users, this is a subject very close to the heart of the industry. The recent introduction of EV charging specific electricity charges by the Minnesota authorities shows that politicians are finally waking up to the potential of the electric vehicle industry. We hope!