Tesla station

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Supercharger network station in Gilroy, California charging a Tesla Model S.

A Tesla station is a planned second version of the Tesla supercharger station[1] that as of June 2013 was planned to be provided by Tesla Motors to support owners of Tesla automobiles with proprietary charging station services, and was projected to be able to support both battery pack swaps as well as fast recharging of the Tesla Model S electric vehicle battery packs.[2][3] As of 17 December 2014, 18 months after the announcement, no battery swapping stations had yet opened to the public.[4]

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 October 2014, there were 119 standard Tesla supercharger stations operating in the United States, 76 in Europe, and 26 in Asia.[5]

As of December 2014, the company announced a revision to their much-delayed[6][4] plans. A single battery-swap station is to open in California in late-December, where only invited Model S owners may do battery swaps by appointment, as part of a pilot program to assess technical and economic aspects of the service. Demand for the priced service—which is now expected to take 3 minutes rather than the much shorter time previously demonstrated—will be used to determine whether the company will commercialize battery swapping stations more generally.[7] The originally announced plan in the June 2013 announcement explicitly indicated that the company would eventually upgrade all existing Tesla supercharger stations 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.[3]


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.[1] 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.[8][9] The Tesla model S was designed from the beginning to support fast battery swapping,[1][10] with Tesla publicly discussing the capability as early as March 2009.[11]

There were eight initial supercharger stations[12] 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,[13] with the number expected to nearly double by the end of the summer.[12] The company has also stated that there will be stations along the Highway 401 corridor between Toronto and Montreal in Canada by 2014.[14]

The number of supercharger stations grew dramatically in 2013 and 2014—to 280 by the end of 2014—but the 2012 promise of net-energy-positive solar-powered supercharger stations, and the 2013 promise of battery-swapping stations, have both not been met. Only two of the supercharger stations are solar powered, and no battery swapping stations have yet opened to the public 18 months [4]

On 19 December 2014, Tesla announced revised plans. They will now build only a single battery-swapping station, and they will institute a "Battery Swap Pilot Program" at that selected station in Harris Ranch, California in order to "assess demand." Only invited Model S owners will be able to participate in the pilot battery swaps. "Tesla will evaluate relative demand from customers ... to assess whether it merits the engineering resources and investment necessary" for the upgrade of additional first-generation supercharger stations.[7]


Tesla Supercharger station is also available at highway rest areas. This is a rest area of Merritt Parkway in Greenwich, Connecticut

The first Tesla Station with battery-swapping capability was planned to be piloted in California late in 2013,[15] 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.[16] In mid-2013, each swapping station was projected to cost US$500,000 and have approximately 50 batteries available without requiring reservations.[8]

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.[8]

How it works[edit]

Tesla charging stations charge up to 16 times faster than public charging stations; they take about 20 minutes to charge half way. They work by delivering DC (Direct Current) power directly to the battery instead of going through the charging equipment.[17][non-primary source needed]

Some of the Tesla charging stations use solar panels to offset energy use and provide shade. In the next few years Tesla Motors plan to cover more stations with solar canopies to charge the Tesla vehicle as long as the vehicle is equipped with a supercharging system. The cost for using the charger has been covered with the purchase of the car.[17][non-primary source needed]

Regulatory issues[edit]

The California Air Resources Board staff did consider 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.[9] After negative comments from a range of motoring manufacturers, this proposal was withdrawn.[18]


  1. ^ a b c Elon Musk (2013-06-21). Fast Pack Swap Event (video). Extreme Tech. Event occurs at 00:13–00:54. Retrieved 2014-03-31. When you come to the Tesla Station—it shouldn't really be called a "Supercharging Station," it should just be called a "Tesla Station". ... The only decision you need to make, when you come to one of our Tesla Stations, is do you prefer faster or free? 
  2. ^ Siler, Steve (2013-06-21). "Tesla launches battery-swapping service for two-minute recharging". Yahoo Autos. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  3. ^ a b Green, Catherine (2013-06-21). "Tesla shows off its battery-swapping station: 90 seconds and less than $100". Silicon Valley Mercury News. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  4. ^ a b c Lavrinc, Damon (2014-12-17). "What Will Tesla And Elon Musk Over Promise Next?". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  5. ^ "Tesla Motors Supercharger". teslamotors.com. Tesla Motors. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/15/teslas-battery-swap-stations-december/
  7. ^ a b Tesla Motors Team (2014-12-19). "Battery Swap Pilot Program". Tesla Motors. Retrieved 2014-12-20. 
  8. ^ a b c Mark Rogowsky (2013-06-21). "Tesla 90-Second Battery Swap Tech Coming This Year". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  9. ^ a b "Tesla Motors demonstrates battery swap in the Model S". Green Car Congress. 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  10. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2009-09-27). "REPORT: Tesla Model S was designed with battery swaps in mind". Autoblog Green. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  11. ^ Tesla unveils world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable EV
  12. ^ a b "Tesla Superstation locations". Tesla Motors. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  13. ^ "Road Trips Made Easy". Tesla Motors. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  14. ^ Sorensen, Chris (24 July 2013). "A morning with Tesla’s Model S". Maclean's. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie (2013-08-07). "Record sales, upbeat Q2 earnings for electric car maker Tesla". Gigaom. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  16. ^ Alan Ohnsman and Mark Chediak (2014-02-28). "Tesla Motors Inc’s Elon Musk says renewable energy shift to bring ‘strife’ for utilities". Financial Post. Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  17. ^ a b "Tesla Motors". Fastest Charging Station on the planet. Tesla Motors. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  18. ^ ""ZEV 2013 Final Statement of Reasons"". CEPA - Air Resources Board - ZEV 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

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