While Tesla’s Superchargers are great, some people have complained that the original plan to have battery swap stations hasn’t come to fruition. That’s about to change this December, which is when the first location will finally be ready to go in California.
This announcement is huge, mostly because one of the biggest hurdles electric cars face is the time it takes to recharge their batteries. The fact of the matter is that many motorists enjoy the convenience of spending only a few moments refueling their tank on a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, because they’re busy and just plain don’t have even half an hour to wait around for their electric car to recharge. According to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, the battery on a Model S can be swapped out in half the time it takes to gas up a car. That’s incredibly convenient, in fact even more convenient than driving a traditional car.
There are a few factors that probably have been contributing to the delay and sudden announcement of the first battery swap station. First off, the company’s resources have been poured into getting the delayed Model X ready for the public. On top of that, Tesla has been working on getting its Gigafactory battery production facility’s construction underway in Nevada. Likely spurring the automaker forward with establishing battery swap stations is the fact that California just took away Tesla’s zero-emissions vehicle credits since the rules surrounding them were revised. Now a car must be fueled for a driving range up to 285 miles in just 15 minutes, so the battery swap stations will fix that problem. The financial vitality of Tesla was accomplished as the company turned a profit in 2013 by selling its excess zero-emissions vehicle credits to other car manufacturers.
There’s a price to be paid for the convenience of having your Model S battery swapped out. While the Superchargers are free for Tesla owners to use, the swap stations will come with a fee of $60 to $80, which is similar to paying for a tank of gas.