Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Images Demonstrate System

OCT 27 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

Tesla’s battery swap patent application images surfaced recently on the Internet (see Patent application title: Battery Swapping System and Techniques via Electrek).

Tesla Battery Swap Debut

Tesla Battery Swap Debut in 2014

The battery swap project seems to be unattractive for Model S owners, as there simply was very little interest in using it.

The pilot station in California required a scheduled visits, a ~$80 fee, and a need to return and swap batteries again.  And in the end, the whole operation took much longer than was originally estimated presentation (5-10 minutes, instead of 90 seconds).

Thus, such a solution isn’t competitive, especially against free Supercharging.

Whether Tesla will try to use battery swap again in the future for internal usage on large-fleets, or for its trucks with some combination of autonomous driving is still a question.

Check out more patent images below, as well as Bjorn Nylund checking out the original Harris Ranch battery swap station (now not operational last we heard) this past Spring.

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Image (source: patentsencyclopedia.com)

Via Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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19 Comments on "Tesla Battery Swap Patent Application Images Demonstrate System"

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Guess What? I wouldn’t wanna end up with someone’s Crappy old Battery ,unless they have a solution to stop that from happening and eventually get your own battery returned to you.,Either way it’s “not a good idea”..Elon did that to show that Tesla could do this Battery swap as well if need Be..

There’s a solution; it’s called a round trip.

If I may quote from the above article: “The pilot station in California required […] and a need to return and swap batteries again.”

What’s not to understand?

So instead of ending up with someones crappy old battery you will end up with your very own crappy old battery. 😉

I would be skeptical that I received someone else’s crappy battery by mistake but I am the paranoid type. Is their a way to read the SN of the battery?

I believe you can see battery S/N by looking in the front passenger side wheel well. I know the battery model number is visible there but can’t remember if there was a serial.

With all the automation Tesla does internally I’m pretty sure they’ll scan each battery and make sure you get back your original. If they didn’t, they could open themselves to lawsuits or warranty claims.

I was hoping this whole battery swap thing would go away…. and now it has resurfaced. It is such a terrible idea.

No it isn’t. It’s benefit is similar to pumped grid storage which is used to handle peaks. It’s just not a pressing issue.

Travel has peaks, and if you don’t want people to have to wait a long time at chargers, you have to do one of three things:-
(1) Increase range
(2) Add more charging spaces
(3) Speed up charging

We don’t know where the technology will end up. If batteries are cheap, but constrained in terms of density and charging rate, there could be a point in the future where it’s better to have swapping available to handle peak periods, instead of having to put in large numbers of charging spots.

Besides handling peaks it could also do two important things:
– Provide a fast-refueling option for people who need it or are willing to pay for it.
– Provide a cheap, simple way to swap an aging or failing battery.

Why do you think it’s terrible? Great idea but the execution ($80 and requires scheduling) was flawed…

Prior art -> Betterplace (together with Renault).

notting

Yes, and “Better Place” (originally “Project Better Place”) was a perfect illustration of why battery swapping isn’t economically viable as a business model. I could see that from the first time I read about the startup. The initial fees for building all those swap stations, and equipping them with enough battery packs to be useful, required far too steep an initial investment to ever make that back by selling subscriptions to the service. The economic model for Tesla isn’t quite the same, because with the system run by Tesla, it doesn’t have to make a profit. Like the Supercharger network, it could be revenue neutral or even run at a slight loss, like a retail “loss leader”. But even for Tesla, the cost/benefit analysis just doesn’t work. As I understand it, Tesla set up that one swap station in order to qualify for some ZEV credits or Carbon Credits from CARB, but then CARB (sensibly) revised the regulation so that Tesla couldn’t claim credits for the entire fleet from just one swap station. In other words, in my opinion (Note: opinion, not fact), Tesla tried to game the system to get a lot more ZEV or Carbon credits than they… Read more »

“required far too steep an initial investment”

Yup. This is why I don’t see Hydrogen being viable even if they sort out all technical issues. Cost is just too high relative to existing technology.

I’ve corrected this here before.

The battery swap stations were _not_ a key part of the Better Place concept, just a temporary measure for long-distance travel until battery capacities caught up.

Most charigng was expected to be done via home/workplace charging, or destination chargers.
To illustrate, they estimated completely covering Israel would require 500000 chargers and 200 swap stations.

That said, it does look like swap stations are not a useful approach to user-owned packs.

I wish they would make a WEC or Formula E car with a battery swap station.

Sort of slide a battery in from the side, with WEC cars this could bring back the assymetric driving positions of the old days.

It is probably better suited to long distance endurance with the WEC then it is with something like Formula E. Could they complete Le Mans laps with a 120kWh battery?

Yeah, I think Formula E would be vastly improved if they would change to battery swapping instead of making it a “relay race” by swapping cars.

Battery swapping would bring in the exciting aspect of the pit crew racing to swap the battery packs as fast as possible, as Formula One pit crews now race to refuel the cars and change tires.

“The pilot station in California required a scheduled visits, a ~$80 fee, and a need to return and swap batteries again.”

And also, if I understand it correctly, the car had to be specially modified by Tesla to be able to accept a battery swap. I don’t think Tesla charged for that, but the point is that a random Tesla Model S owner couldn’t just drive up to the swap station and use it.

As I see it, the only advantage of a battery swap over a Supercharger charge is that you don’t have to wait as long. And an $80 fee for that convenience seems awfully steep. If you’re gonna pay that much, you might as well rent a gasmobile for the trip and just use ordinary gas stations when you need a “recharge”.

I view battery swapping like I view hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars: The tech is interesting, but it’s too expensive and requires too much complex infrastructure to be economically competitive in passenger cars.

However, it just might be economically viable to use battery swapping to support long distance EV freight trucking, when used by fleets on regularly scheduled routes.

Good points. Supercharging would take about an hour and free. Battery swap 10 minutes and $80 ($80 in 50 minutes). If your trip is worth $100/hr and there’s no other alternative, swap station might be worth it. But that’s extremely rare even for those who can afford to drive Tesla. Might as well take the plane.

Just offer longer range and faster charging. I would not even consider swapping out. my battery pack and paying $80 to do so.

Battery swapping is BS. If you really don’t own the battery, then the car should be priced $30K+ lower. Battery swapping also would let Tesla off the hook for manufacturing high quality batteries.

Renault tried that a while back but it never took off, mainly because it would have to be a massive swap station (to have enough space to test, store and fit the batteries in the future) and demand would simply outstrip supply in most big cities.