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Tesla Battery Swap

Tesla unveiled a 90-second battery swap system.

The niche vehicle manufacturer is planning to roll out premium battery-swapping stations later this year.

Electric cars have been slow to catch on with consumers because of their high battery price, limited driving range and lack of a charging infrastructure. Tesla has been working to address some of those issues with fast-charging stations and now with the battery-swapping technology.

A battery pack swap will cost between $60 and $80, about the same as filling up a 15-gallon tank. Drivers who choose to swap must reclaim their original battery on their return trip or pay the difference in cost for the new pack. The stations will cost about a half a million dollars each to build. They will be located alongside Tesla’s fast-charging stations, which take around 30 minutes to charge the car’s battery.

Of course, there is one drawback. The Tesla battery swap and required stations don’t yet exist, though they are on Musk’s radar. Plus, at CARNORAMA we have one major concern (among many others), which reflects more on our society than automotive technology. Battery security!?!?

Theft of premium automotive components is a very profitable side-industry. If mechanical robots can swap the battery in 90 seconds, we have no doubt that human thieves can steal the battery in even less time. Literally gone in 90 seconds! Panasonic automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla are not cheap. Even if thieves are not be able to to get full retail price for the battery systems, they can always get a small fortune by recycling the lithium cells at scrap value.

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