Battery Swapping a Winner for Tesla’s Model S

I recently visited the Tesla store at the Domain in Austin to check out the Tesla Model S.  The compact layout of the electric drivetrain allows for a trunk at the front of the car — a “frunk”– in addition to conventional trunk space.

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The Tesla Model S is a truly beautiful car, but in a previous post I voiced my concern about the effect on the electricity grid of high-power charging stations such as the Tesla Supercharger.

In this Tesla video, Tesla founder Elon Musk demonstrates battery swapping with the Tesla Model S. Despite the recent demise of Better Place (a company that was developing battery swapping technology), battery swapping lives on at Tesla. Battery swapping is a potential game changer, providing faster “charging” than filling the gas tank (the paradigm that concerns me for electric charging), while allowing the battery packs to be electrically charged more slowly. Battery swapping delivers fast “charging” without the electricity infrastructure costs of large-scale high speed electric charging. It also retains the potential positives of off-peak electrical charging, including matching of electrical charging to renewable production. Bravo to Elon Musk and Tesla!

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About Ross Baldick

Electricity is an increasingly complex industry in the midst of transition to renewables and decarbonization. Using my 25 years’ experience as an engineer, policy analyst, and academic, I help my consulting clients think through their toughest technical challenges and formulate their best business strategies.
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