Images Of Tesla Battery Swap Site


The first images of Tesla’s battery swapping site near the Harris Ranch Supercharger in California from earlier in December have surfaced.

These images come to us courtesy of Tesla Battery Swap on Imgur.

Captions via Tesla Battery Swap on Imgur.

This looks promising. On the backside of the old carwash building behind the Shell station across the street from Harris Ranch. Pretty large, brand new AC unit installed next to it.

This looks promising. On the backside of the old carwash building behind the Shell station across the street from Harris Ranch. Pretty large, brand new AC unit installed next to it.

The entrance

The entrance

Battery boxes. The one on the left is empty, the other two are still sealed.

Battery boxes. The one on the left is empty, the other two are still sealed.

Looks like a strongback for lifting batteries.

Looks like a strongback for lifting batteries.

Source: Tesla Battery Swap on Imgur

Categories: Tesla


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35 Comments on "Images Of Tesla Battery Swap Site"

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Wow… they just left the batteries (in boxes) out in the open?


It’s not like you’re just going to pick them up and casually walk away…

Jouni Valkonen

That is true. Energy density of EV batteries must still improve considerably before you can just steal ex tempore an EV battery! Each pack weights around 600 kg.


Wasn’t the talk of this to have begun swapping by end of 2014?

Jouni Valkonen

Yes, the battery swapping station have been in operation for last two weeks. Although it is still i beta testing mode and not open for general public.

Ted Parton

One of the things I love about Tesla is how they come up with inventive ways to re-use existing facilities.

Jouni Valkonen

Anyway, battery swapping seems very complicated. One can always consider the alternative that they are stopping for 30 minutes on supercharging station and eating a soya burger and writing silly comments on InsideEVs’ discussion board…


The alternative is breathing healthy gasoline vapors for a few minutes, spoiling some on your hands in the process of filling up. Keeping some on your shoe soles and nicely taking it with you in your car so that you can enjoy the perfume for some more hours while driving. Then you also need to remember your wallet was also contaminated when your spoiled hands put back the ATM card in it and of course you got stripped from money again since your cheap gas guzzler is actually mainly paid for when tanking. Don’t forget the doctor bills when you happen to be the unlucky only that wins the gasoline cancer lottery, you never know.


Sounds like you are either clumsy blind, or who has or had a diesel as your driver.


When I refueled my Volt last week, I encountered none of these silly problems. Such over-the-top rhetoric only hurts the EV cause. If you want EVs to be widely accepted, you should focus on their strengths … mechanical simplicity, easy maintenance, reliability, quiet smooth instant acceleration, low fuel costs, etc. And stop trying to disparage the gassers.


Not clumsy or silly at all. I know someone who was sprayed by gasoline, due to a hose failing. No, he was not wrenching or in a pit crew at the time, just going about his routine.


Does anyone know if the forklift is electric of if the station has solar or a nearby solar canopy?


The Hystar is likely a 36 volt powered system. Not sure about Solar, but location certainly has plenty of METHANE nearby… 😉


I’ve been a little disappointed that Tesla has not installed solar PV at many of their charging stations. But I guess they just want to get as many charging stations installed, as fast as possible and thus dropped the installation of solar PV.


Yes it appears to be electric.


If you are familiar with warehouse logistics you can clearly see the layout of this forklift. It’s electric; the lead also serves as counterweighting.

Alan Campbell

I wonder how the battery pack swap works, since the battery pack has a 8 year unlimited warranty?

Maybe it will automatically pull battery packs out of circulation as they get close to the 8 year mark, so a new Tesla won’t be loaded with a 7 year old battery pack.

Models bought in 2011 would have a 4 year old battery pack now.

Maybe the swap matches the year of the current battery pack.


You borrow a pack going out, and swap back to your own pack going home.


How will this work if say, 1000 people all want to swap batteries out? Or the owner of the original battery never comes back for whatever reason?

Jouni Valkonen

1000 people do not want to swap their batteries simultaneously, because there is very little demand for battery swapping services.


For the latter situation, the owner gets billed the difference in value of the pack after a certain period of time.

For the former situation, if there is a overage of demand they can always offload to the superchargers. I also imagine they will have a reservation system so that situation never happens.

From an european point of view

How can the editor write “this looks promising” ?
We see a small closed facility , without any tesla car , in action of swapping or not , and two stacks of mini pallets supposed to contain battery packs .


How can the reader not see promise and potential in photos of this new battery swapping facility?

If you are indeed European, it is possible your perceptions and attitude represent the norm for your population. This apparent lack of imagination could lead to a lack of innovation– and this is possibly why many European Countries are slipping back into Recession.

You perfectly highlight the main reason Elon left S Africa, and came here to change and challenge the world.

From an european point of view

Innovation ?

Oh yes I forgot the forklift , probably the main innovative tool of the site .

A forklift , but not even fuell cell powered .


If you’re going to snark for its own sake, at least put some bloody effort into it… Your European Point of View, bores me.

From an european point of view

We could call this building a “compliance facility” uniquely designed and operated to grab precious money from the pocket of brave Californian people .


Don’t forget that the Brave Citizens of California are also seeing a huge influx of cash from new facility construction and permits, local parts suppliers, and tax revenues from new manufacturing jobs it has not witnessed, since the 1990’s. That should offset any loss from a single beta program.


Another common misunderstanding of the ZEV program. The ZEV credits are not cash from California tax payers. The ones paying the money are other automakers in order to satisfy their compliance obligations.

And the battery swap provision awards credits based on the the number of swaps, not merely on the existence of a swap station.

Bill Howland

Hard to get a scale of the electrics in the shot.. The air cooled transformer is 480 to 120Y/208 if this is in the states…I don’t see any mains or billing meter so there’s additional equipment some other place. (There’s of course other variations, but not in a new building in California). I’m guessing as to the size, but 225 kva? I imagine they have to charge the swapped out batteries, and the interesting thing is that they have to keep the owner’s original battery for future swap-in. How long?

One basic question I’ve never heard is that is this an automated changeout or manual? Or is that question itself a secret? Of course, manual is easier, if not cheaper in the long run.

From an european point of view


From an european point of view


Gene Frenkle

This is great that they actually doing this, however for this to be successful it really needs to add batteries to an existing pack and it needs to be able to operate from a truck. The problem with this is that once a battery pack is swapped then a perfectly good pack just sits unused until the owner comes back and swaps it back.

So they should design the Model 3 so that a 50 kWh pack can be expanded to a 100 kWh at a swap station or better yet from something like a flatbed tow truck. So once one gets to their destination the truck comes by and swaps out the extra 50 kWh pack that can then be used by another Tesla.


wow…I think we should give a tribute to Better Place too, they brought battery swapping to the market in the first place..

John VonBokel

Yeah, but they got the idea from visiting the Tesla factory and seeing the swap-capable Model S.

“Before starting Better Place, Shai Agassi was visiting Tesla, and we were talking to him about the future,” he says, “which included high-speed charging and battery swap.” (A Better Place spokesman disputes that, saying that Agassi was merely inspired by the Tesla visit to cook up his own idea.)