Tesla is hoping to win over potential electric vehicle drivers who suffer from range anxiety with its upcoming Model S. First, buyers will be able to choose from three different editions with varying ranges: 160 miles (which already exceeds the usual 100-mile range of most EVs), 230 miles, and a whopping 300 miles on one full charge (that top end Model S comes with an equally whopping $77,000 price tag). Then, for even longer trips, Model S owners will be able to swap out their battery at Tesla stores. Full details on exactly how the swap will work are slim, but we recently learned a little more from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. At a panel discussion following the premier of Revenge of the Electric Car, Musk said:
So, it seems that Tesla's "swap" service is quite different from the way Better Place does it, which is to give the driver a fully-charged pack in a hurry whenever needed. While Tesla's method does eliminate one of the negatives of battery swapping with a pack that you purchased (again, unlike Better Place), it does raise a few questions. How long will swap stations hold the pack for owners, if say, they were going on a long road trip? How many packs will each store have on hand? What type of costs are we talking about for a swap and storage of the pack? With every bit of new information come many more questions.
When people take an occasional two-way long distance trip, they'll get a replacement pack and then pick up their original one on the way back. The issue of giving up your one-year old pack for a three-year old one goes away.
[Source: Plugin Cars]