Tesla Battery Swap Program Still Unlikely, Elon Musk Loses Enthusiasm

Tesla Supercharger 1 photo
Photo: Tesla
The year was 2014 and the month was December when Tesla Motors announced they will be piloting a battery swap program. Tesla Model S owners were invited and given the chance to replace their car’s battery in a Tesla-selected location.
And that was it, no word on Tesla's battery swap initiative until this week's Tesla shareholders meeting held in Mountain View, California. During the gathering, Elon Musk tried to clear the air and de-confuse the audience on why the battery swap thing went under the radar.

According to Musk, his company is experiencing a "very low take rate for the pack swap station". You see, Tesla Motors carried out a first round of invitations that reached around 200 Model S owners. However, only "four or five people wanted to do that, and they all did it just once".

They didn't give up so easily and send invitations to all customers, but Elon Musk doesn't believe they'll behave differently this time around.

It seems people are going for free instead of fast these days. The battery swap campaign's motto is (or was) 'Fast or Free'. This is somehow inviting the owners to choose between the Supercharger network (which provides fast charging) and the battery swap option that is faster, but it would cost anywhere between $60 and $100.

How much faster? Well, according to a demonstration in California, the depleted battery could be changed with a fully charged one in 90 seconds. An automated machine was tasked with disconnecting the battery, removing it and replacing it with a new one.
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