It was announced back in 2013 that Tesla would start rolling out a program where Tesla owners could swap out their batteries at Supercharger stations. As of this article there is only 1 Supercharger station that has the battery swap capabilities. Tesla wants to be the best company in the industry and the battery swap was one benefit for people who may need the extra juice fast to keep traveling. Yet, only having one station have the capability to perform this task is down right terrible. The reason for only having one station able to perform the battery swap was because when Tesla sent out the invite to California Tesla owners only 5% of them response.
Elon Musk’s reasoning for the failure of the battery swap was that the Supercharger stations are free of charge and the majority of people want to keep the free of charge method to “filling up”. Why would someone want to pay for a service when they can wait, eat some food and have their Tesla charged for free and be back on the road in no time. We can understand this concept because our transport customers want great service, but have an affordable rate. We transport many Tesla vehicles enclosed and the customers are great. They do expect a great service and they want a fee that is not only affordable, but also practical. Makes total sense.
The real reason for the battery swap failing isn’t what Elon stated. It is because people needed to make an appointment for the battery swap. Who in their right mind is going to set up a time to be at a Tesla charging station to get their battery swap when they are doing a road trip? People are not going to know exactly when they will be arriving. Delays happen on the roads all the time. Seems silly for Elon and Tesla to think people are going to plan out their vacation, driving, eating, battery swapping, etc all before they go. Sometimes people do like to just go and play things by ear. Maybe they see a cool restaurant and want to eat there instead of what is close to the charging station. There are many reasons. The battery swap COULD work if it doesn’t need an appointment AND if they roll it out across the country. I think before it will be successful Tesla needs to focus on rolling out the new Model X SUV. That is the main priority.