It appears that the Tesla battery swap station is a bust.
At Tesla’s 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting, CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the battery swap station isn’t being used and that the American automaker will unlikely expand on the technology. Earlier this year, Tesla opened its first battery swap station and the company kicked it off with a round of invitations to 200 Model S owners, of which only four or five actually used the battery swap station. Even more telling, none of those that used the battery swap station did it again. Since then, Tesla has opened the invitation to all Model S owners but Musk expects “that all customers behave roughly like that initial sample group.”
Musk attributes the lack of popularity for the battery swap station to how efficient its Tesla Supercharger stations are. He went so far as to say “It’s just, people don’t care about pack swap. The Superchargers are fast enough that if you’re driving from LA to San Francisco and you start a trip at 9 AM, by the time you get to, say noon, you want to stop, and you want to stretch your legs, hit the restroom, grab a bite to eat, grab a coffee, and be on your way – and by that time, the car is charged and ready to go, and it’s free. So it’s like, why would you do the pack swap? It doesn’t make much sense.”
As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and it’s easier now for Musk to realize that the Tesla battery swap won’t have a future and he admitted that “it’s unlikely to be something that’s worth expanding in the future, unless something changes.”
Discuss this story at our Tesla forum