TESLA Motors Battery Swap Pilot Program begins Dec 22/14

PRESS RELEASE by The TESLA Motors Team | December 19, 2014

At an event in Los Angeles last year, we showcased battery swap technology to demonstrate that it’s possible to replace a Model S battery in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank

This technology allows Model S owners in need of a battery charge the choice of either ‘fast’ or ‘free’.

The free long distance travel option is already well covered by our growing Supercharger network, which is now at 312 stations with more than 1,748 Superchargers worldwide. They allow Model S drivers to charge at 400 miles per hour.

Now we’re starting exploratory work on the ‘fast’ option.

Starting next week, we will pilot a pack swap program with invited Model S owners. They will be given the opportunity to swap their car’s battery at a custom-built facility located across the street from the Tesla Superchargers at Harris Ranch, CA. This pilot program is intended to test technology and assess demand.

At least initially, battery swap will be available by appointment and will cost slightly less than a full tank of gasoline for a premium sedan.

More time is needed to remove the titanium and hardened aluminum ballistic plates that now shield the battery pack, so the swap process takes approximately three minutes.

With further automation and refinements on the vehicle side, we are confident that the swap time could be reduced to less than one minute, even with shields.

Tesla will evaluate relative demand from customers for paid pack swap versus free charging to assess whether it merits the engineering resources and investment necessary for that upgrade.

Visit the TeslaMotors.com blog

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It’s All About the Batteries! | Infographic

Originally published on EV Obsession

The Tesla Gigafactory is one of the hottest cleantech stories of 2014, if not the hottest. Someone recently passed along a cool Tesla Gigafactory infographic that includes quite a bit of interesting info about the lithium-ion battery gigawatt-scale factory.

Of course, it notes that the best way to bring down the price of electric cars is to bring down the price of batteries, and quotes the Tesla estimate that the Gigafactory will reduce battery cost by about 30% per kWh.

Tesla-Gigafactory-Infographic
EV Central. EV Sales. The Tesla Gigafactory is one of the hottest cleantech stories of 2014, if not the hottest.

Tesla Gigafactory Infographic from VisualCapitalist.com

Tesla Execs, Elon Musk and JB Straubel Answer Questions [Video]

Originally published on EV Obsession by Zachary Shahan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel recently stopped into Amsterdam for a 1-hour townhall meeting with Tesla Model S owners and enthusiasts. A video of the meeting was recorded (natch) and is embedded above.

Questions related to navigation, charging in Belgium, vehicle-to-grid technology and plans, song availability in Europe, solar + Tesla, and much more. Some key notes, imho, include:

  • Tesla is now installing close to one Supercharger per day!
  • Tesla Superchargers are projected to get up to a 135 kW level soon (a bit more than the ~2 kW a typical house uses at one time).
  • Elon and Tesla’s CTO think “smart conductive charging” is going to win out over inductive charging, largely due to efficiency issues, but they’ve had numerous conversations about this.
  • Version 6.0 software with “real-time” traffic information and better suspension control is coming soon (probably within the month).
  • The San Francisco to Los Angeles battery-swapping service is supposed to be up within a few months.

 If anything else in the video is particularly interesting to you, feel free to chime in below!

This article, Elon Musk & Tesla CTO JB Straubel Answer Questions In Amsterdam (VIDEO), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

EV Sales. Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.