Despite an earlier promise last December, Tesla is now considering not to build more battery swapping stations.
Pack swap now operating in limited beta mode for SF to LA route. Can swap battery faster than visiting a gas station. Tesla blog out soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2014
This is what Musk had to say in a shareholders meeting:
“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.”
The battery swap, which would take only over 90 seconds, would cost around $60 to $100. Its low demand rate could be attributed to the success of the alternative energy supply – the Supercharger stations.
Supercharger stations offer free service to Tesla owners. Obviously, when asked to make the choice, more customers preferred the one with less cost.
Tesla sampled 200 customers to try the battery swap stations, but only five responded. Musk expected the larger population of Tesla users to be just as hesitant towards using the pack swap.