HomeGuideTesla Battery Swap Station: What Happened to Elon’s Claim on Fully Charging...

Tesla Battery Swap Station: What Happened to Elon’s Claim on Fully Charging Tesla in 90 Seconds?

Tesla’s battery swap station was quite the hype back in 2013. CEO Elon Musk made a public statement claiming that the company could fully charge their Tesla vehicles in 90 seconds. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The battery swap station is no longer mentioned on Tesla’s website and there have been no updates since it first opened. So what happened? Let’s take a closer look at Tesla’s Battery Swap Station and find out what went wrong.

Tesla Battery Swap

What is EV battery swapping?

An electric vehicle battery swap is a process through which the batteries in an electric vehicle are replaced by specialized machines that can quickly and efficiently replace each one. Typically, these systems involve robotic arms that reach into the battery compartment to remove and replace individual batteries at a rapid rate. The main advantage of this approach is that it allows EVs to be rapidly refueled while minimizing downtime.

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Additionally, by eliminating the need to plug in and wait for charging, swapping can help to decrease range anxiety. However, some potential drawbacks of this technology include higher costs associated with upgrading power supplies and building new stations equipped with swapping facilities.

Despite these challenges, many experts believe that EV battery swapping offers a promising solution for addressing the emerging demand for clean transportation. After all, as more and more people switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs, the quick and efficient refueling made possible by battery swapping could prove an invaluable advantage.

What happened to the Tesla battery swap?

When the station was first unveiled, it was said to be able to replace a Tesla Model S battery in 90 seconds. This was a pretty incredible feat, considering that it usually takes around an hour to charge a Tesla. However, the battery swap station could never live up to the hype.

Tesla battery swap technology

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Musk was confident about Tesla’s battery swap technology, and he believed that Tesla could be able to mass-produce cars with this revolutionary charging system within the next two years.

If Tesla could have delivered on this promise, it would have revolutionized how we think about transportation. Imagine being able to drive from coast to coast without ever stopping to charge your car. This could completely change the way we travel, and it would have a significant impact on the environment.

Why did Tesla give up battery swapping?

In 2021, the company has abandoned its battery swapping ambitions by putting out the statement: “The company believes electric vehicle charging is the best way to power its vehicles, and that battery swapping is riddled with problems and not suitable for widescale use.”

Also, It wasn’t clear how well it will work in the long term. There are also concerns about the cost of the battery swaps, which could be high if Tesla doesn’t manage to scale up the technology.

Possible reasons behind Tesla dropping battery swapping idea

There are a few reasons why the battery swap station never really took off. First, it was only ever available at a single location in Harris Ranch, California. This made it inconvenient for most Tesla owners, who would have to go out of their way to use the service.

The cost of using the battery swap station was actually more expensive than charging via a supercharger. This made it unappealing for most Tesla owners, who were already paying a premium for their electric vehicles.

Final Verdict

All in all, the battery swap station was an interesting idea but it was inconvenient to use and was more expensive. This is probably why Tesla has quietly discontinued the service and is no longer mentioned on their website.

The company has currently pivoted its focus towards producing 4680 battery cells for Model Y. Tesla is not currently investing in the technology required for battery swaps. This may be disappointing for those who were looking forward to a quick recharge, but it does not mean that Tesla’s electric vehicles are any less appealing. The company continues to make strides in innovation and their cars remain at the forefront of sustainable transportation.

Do you think the battery swap station was a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

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Saurav Revankar
A person who is passionate about Electric Cars and future technologies. #zeroemissionsquad


    • Aren’t you? I suspect you haven’t accomplished nearly what Musk has! Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he is striving to do great things for the human race!

      • lol. He may or may not have achieved ‘great things’, but whatever he was striving for, it was not for the human race. Rather, it’s for the benefit of his bank account.

  1. Why would I want to swap my carefully-maintained EV battery for one of completely unknown history? No, thank you very much.

  2. Learn your history, guys: CARB drove the push to swap stations by requiring “Fast Fueling”, which blew CARB’s technical requirement of 300 miles in 90% of EV miles come from the plug in your driveway while you sleep, this would grossly disadvantage EVs in general, and make the roll-out of a new set of infrastructure (to compete with Tesla’s then new but rapidly expanding SuperCharger network) highly uneconomic. CARB was hell-bent on driving H2 forward, and still hasn’t quite figured out that the race is lost.

  3. One word… NIO. Swaps + Charging work. Swap stations can be used as energy storage to load balance the grid as well.

    • Nio works because they are going for a different audience. Long distance travelers did not like the idea of having to go back and reswap to get their original battery back. On the other hand, urban drivers with no way to home charge are Nio’s target market.

  4. Betterplace 2.0 Well its a good ideer to start the change to ev. Central charging, no fuss. But pepole dont get it. And now we are getting to the tipping point infastructior wice that it makes no sence at all. And pepole still dont get it. Så to summon up Pepole dont get it.

  5. I own a Tesla and the superchargers are really fast. After 3 hours of driving I hit the restroom and a snack and a stretch my car is charged in 30 minutes. No need for a battery swap.

  6. We would need at least twice the supply of batteries, always having the swapped batteries in reserve while being charged for the next swap.

    We don’t have the raw materials to do that, given high demand.

  7. Battery electric cars make sense for short hall trips and commuting. The long charge times and short range won’t work for anyone going on a long road trip. Think skiing, dropping your kids off at college or going to thanksgiving to grandmas. We don’t have the time or infrastructure to charge. They won’t work for people who live in apartments.

    Everyone I know that has a battery electric vehicle also has an internal combustion engine gas vehicle for longer trips.

    Fuel cell electric vehicles which are hydrogen powered would solve these problems. The hydrogen can be totally green can be generated with green electricity.

    Climate change is a real problem and needs better solutions than battery electric vehicles.


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