Tesla isn’t Giving up on Battery Swaps


It looks as though Tesla is pursuing mobile battery swap technology for its cars. 

In 2013, Tesla held an event to show off a 90-second battery swap as an alternative to charging. The first battery swap station then opened in late 2014 and by mid-2015, Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted people didn’t really care for it. The company eventually shut down the station in late 2016, choosing to focus on expanding its Supercharger network. But a recently published patent application suggests the American electric automaker isn’t ready to give up on the technology.

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Published on September 14 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent application details an alternative method of battery swapping, which would be done on a trailer. It would allow the service to be mobile, meaning Tesla doesn’t have to build a permanent station in the middle of nowhere that no one will use.

“A battery-swapping system can be implemented on top of a trailer for increase mobility,” reads the patent application. “Generally, the battery-swapping operations should be performed in an enclosed or at least covered location. For example, a trailer can be custom built with sides that pop out for increased space, and ramps on either side so the vehicle can be driven in and out of the battery-swapping facility.”

In addition, depleted battery can be charged at the location of the swapping system, while fully charged battery packs can also be delivered to the location.

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