2015 Tesla Model S 70D in new Ocean Blue colorEnlarge Photo
Tesla's next big advancement in reducing range anxiety was its battery-swapping solution. The technology was announced in 2013 but has only made it to one Supercharger station as of today.
During a recent shareholder meeting, the same one where it was announced the Model X SUV was coming soon, Elon Musk shared that Tesla was not seeing a high take rate on customers swapping batteries. Musk’s comments likely mean that battery swapping won’t be supported much going forward.
Musk stated that Tesla sent invitations to all California customers to try out the sole battery swap station and that only 4-5 percent of people responded. He also followed by stating that the Supercharger stations are highly successful and that since they are free most customers don't mind waiting for a charge. He pushed the fact that the Superchargers are free and as long as they are used sparingly will continue to be free.
The issue with his statements and the low take rate on the battery swaps is that all the customers that were invited had to schedule a time to have the swap completed. This may work for a service appointment but it's not something you would reasonably expect for someone on a road trip to schedule ahead of their trip. It's the equivalent of asking someone with an internal combustion engine to schedule an exact time for fuel stops.
Written by Bozi Tatarevic.