Submitted by JZ13 on June 4, 2013
During the annual shareholders meeting today Elon was asked about his tweet re: "Model S will refuel quicker than a gas powered car". He answered that there will be a demonstration on June 20th and that it is NOT a faster supercharger. Given the language that was added to the Q1 10k referencing battery swapping for the first time, it seems pretty likely that Tesla is rolling out battery swapping. So my question is: how will it be implemented? Here are a few options:
1) Battery swapping at Tesla service centers. If you are in the area and need a full battery quickly there could be a fee for this. It will likely be a robotic process where you would drive in, wait a few minutes and drive away with a new battery. I'm sure the customer will be charged whatever the cost of this service is with Tesla not trying to make a profit on the service.
2) Battery swapping stations at Tesla Supercharger stations. This seems less-likely as Elon bragged that they pay little to no rent at these stations because they are just taking over parking spaces. A battery swap station will require more space and rent. The advantage is it speeds up the trip.
3) Franchised Tesla battery stations. Similar concept to the current gas station business model. Small business owners can take the risk and manage their inventory. In this scenario the service would be more expensive due to the profits the franchisee needs to make.