Will Tesla add battery swap capability to the Model S?

Just as the idea of battery swapping seems to have stalled (its main proponent, Better Place, is retrenching amid hard times, and Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn has poo-pooed the concept) it may get a recharge from the alpha dog of the EV pack. A careful reading of the leaves from Elon Musk’s last cup of tea indicates that his next bombshell may concern battery swapping.

Last June, in a conversation about Tesla’s then-new Supercharger Network, Musk discussed the possibility, saying, “I intentionally architected the Model S to have a battery pack in the floor pan that can be swapped out in less than a minute. We’re going to show something interesting in that regard.”

In its May 10 SEC filing, Tesla said:

Other factors that may influence the adoption of [EVs] include…our capability to rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist but which we plan to introduce in the near future.

Musk milked it some more with a recent tweet: “There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank.”

The plug-in pundits are buzzing that battery swapping will be the subject of a “mystery announcement” coming up this Friday.

 

Image: jurvetson (flickr)
Sources: Tesla, Green Car Reports