Tesla To Test Drive EV Battery Swapping

on December 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Tesla Motors Continues To Report Quarterly Losses, While Interest In Their Batteries Grow

Popular electric car manufacturer Tesla is augmenting its electric vehicle charging station services with an experimental foray into battery swapping. The idea behind the battery swapping trial is much faster than fully charging an electric car.

Tesla Gigafactory, Carson City, NV. Credit: Tesla Motors

Tesla already has its supercharger stations at several locations and owners are able to charge their vehicles without cost, but the company seems to believe the much quicker battery swapping option will be appealing.

That Tesla is taking battery swapping for a test drive is a curiosity for some industry watchers who recall what happened to Better Place, the company typically associated with vehicle battery swapping in this country. Better Place went bankrupt in 2013 after shuttering its operations in the U.S. and Australia and until now, no other company had tried to step in to replace it. As some critics have said, the battery swapping concept was never very attractive to customers and the constraints it put on car makers and how they chose to design their cars made the swap option unattractive to them too.

Nevertheless, Tesla said it can replace a spent battery with a fully-charged one in three minutes, compared to an hour to fully charge its Model S sedan model, according to Business Insider.

For now, Tesla is deliberately limiting the number of drivers who can participate in the trial, which requires an appointment and a fee.