Saturday, June 22, 2013

On Swappable Batteries

Tesla should consider selling its cars without batteries. Considering that a Tesla battery costs about $30K, a Model-S minus the battery should cost significantly cheaper.

This will succeed once the buyer has the option of of leasing the battery from a battery-rental-cum-charging/swapping-station -- a fusion of a car-rental and a gas-station (..instead of renting a whole car, you just rent a charged battery.. instead of filling gas, you get your depleted battery swapped with a fully charged one). Thus, battery maintenance and replacement will no longer be the buyer's headache.

This is not very different from how we buy the phone instrument while taking a cell phone service of our choice (
..pre-paid, post paid, 3G, 4G..). This might go a long way in expanding the electric car market.

Tesla Motors: Battery Swap

(an Inferno original :) )


san said...

I think that Tesla's original design did not allow for the batteries to be swapped very easily, but they have subsequently been changing that. Better Place has recently fallen into bankruptcy, which has given Musk an opportunity to snatch up their IP and assets fairly cheaply. I would worry about how easily and reliably battery-swapping can be done in practice, because we're talking about batteries which hold a lot of power. Read the latest glowing reviews on the Tesla Model S sedan however - they are rich with praise:

Inferno said...

Better Place rented out the whole car. There was no concept of ownership - which led to their downfall.

nizhal yoddha said...

i like the idea of a hot swappable battery. hope this leads to a sustained push towards electric/hybrid cars. the problem tesla faces is of tying to build a dominant design, ie. one that has industry support. remember the sad story of betamax vs. VHS? the former, though superior, lost to the latter because the industry coalesced around VHS.