A Tesla Station is the second version of the Tesla supercharger station that is planned to be provided by Tesla Motors to support owners of Tesla automobiles with proprietary charging station services, and will be able to support both battery pack swaps as well as fast recharging of the Tesla Model S electric vehicle battery packs.
The existing first-generation Tesla supercharger stations allow Tesla owners to receive a free high-speed charge — less than an hour — at the network. As of late August 2014, there are 110 stations operating in the United States, 58 in Europe, and 13 in Asia. All existing Tesla supercharger stations would be converted to become Tesla stations, which would offer the battery-pack swap for the Model S in addition to the fast recharge capability that each facility initially opened with.
In June 2013, Tesla announced the goal to deploy a battery swapping station in each of its existing supercharging stations, now to be renamed Tesla stations. At an event at Tesla's design studio in Los Angeles, CEO Elon Musk demonstrated a battery swap operation with the Model S, which took just over 90 seconds each for the two cars participating in the demo. The swapping operation took less than half the time needed to refill a gasoline-powered car used for comparison purposes during the event. The Tesla model S was designed from the beginning to support fast battery swapping, with Tesla publicly discussing the capability as early as March 2009.
There were eight initial supercharger stations around the United States, located at strategic points on the Boston-to-Washington and Los Angeles-to-San Francisco highway corridors. By mid-July 2013, 15 were open across the United States, with the number expected to nearly double by the end of the summer. The company has also stated that there will be stations along the Highway 401 corridor between Toronto and Montreal in Canada by 2014.
The first Tesla Station with battery-swapping capability was planned to be piloted in California late in 2013, but this was subsequently delayed. Elon Musk said at an event in February 2014 that a few battery swap stations will open in the next few months along the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and that the initial stations will be studied before deciding to build any more. In mid-2013, each swapping station was projected to cost US$500,000 and have approximately 50 batteries available without requiring reservations.
Elon Musk said the battery swapping service would be offered for the price of about 15 US gallons (57 l; 12 imp gal) of gasoline at the current local rate, around US$60 to US$80 at June 2013 prices. Owners can pick up their battery pack fully charged on the return trip, which is included in the swap fee. Tesla will also offer the option to keep the pack received on the swap and paying the price difference if the battery received is newer; or to receive the original pack back from Tesla for a transport fee. The billing will be handled via customer credit card on file with Tesla. Pricing had not been determined as of June 2013[update].
The California Air Resources Board staff is considering modifying the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation to exclude battery swapping as a "fast refueling" technology; this change would deny Tesla some of the ZEV credits that the manufacturer might otherwise receive when the battery swapping station is placed in service in California.
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