Tesla’s battery swap program won’t help the rest of us EV drivers
Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has announced his plans to build battery swapping stations for the Model S even as the very cool Better Place stations have failed.
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At about $80 a pop to swap out the battery, going to these stations will be quite pricey compared to the cost of charging a Tesla. Still, it is the closest you can get to filling up on juice in less time than it takes to fill a traditional vehicle with gasoline.
Swapping on a regular basis would get expensive and probably wouldn’t be necessary except on long trips, but it probably is what is needed to convince skeptics that EV driving can be as reliable and spontaneous as a driving a gas guzzler.
I would have definitely paid the price to swap out the battery on my husband’s Nissan Leaf when my patience was running thin on our road trip from Silicon Valley to Malibu over Memorial Day weekend.
But, of course, it appears that these swapping stations will only be for Tesla drivers. It continues to bug me that Tesla is building its own exclusive infrastructure, even as people tell me that Musk is setting the standard for the EV world.
Perhaps, but for now at least, the majority of Americans cannot afford to buy a Tesla.
Maybe I am just jealous that we had to spend about five hours charging at each stop on our Road trip while Tesla drivers will soon get a full charge in a mere 90 seconds.
What are your thoughts?
Will other EV car companies follow Musk’s lead?