Tesla Unveils New Patented Battery Swap Technology

27 Sep

Tesla appears to have taken a major step forward in pushing the popularity of electric cars with the rollout of “battery swap system and technology,” helping drivers overcome the headache of time-consuming battery recharging.

Tesla already applied for patent for the system and technology, which will enable drivers to replace their exhausted battery set with a fully charged one at a batter-swap station within, say 15 minutes, less than half of the recharging time. The time-saving service is expected to be especially suited to commercial vehicles, which stress efficiency highly.

In fact, Tesla already exhibited a rapid battery-swap technology for Model S back in 2013, claimed to be capable of substituting a fully charged battery for an exhausted one within 90 seconds and enabling the car to hit the road again. CEO Elon Musk played down the technology then, saying it was still in a testing stage. The patent application shows that the technology has become mature.

According to the description in the patent application, technicians will carry out the battery replacement from underneath the car manually, after lifting the car with a hydraulic lifter, different from the original concept calling for automatic battery replacement.

Dubbed by “Clean Technica” as “quick-swap Electric Energy Storage System (EESS), the patented technology will be applicable for both Model X and Model S, according to the patent application, which doesn’t mention Model 3. Insiders, though, believe the new technology will also be compatible with Model 3. It’s expected that service stations with the battery-replacement system will mainly service long-distance driving (such as intercity freeways), to assure uninterrupted travel.

In the U.S., the technology is expected to encounter lukewarm reception among common electric-car drivers, who are less time-sensitive, often spotted chatting happily with peers at widely spread power-charging stations. In a previous remark, Elon Musk also admitted that the technology will mainly serve commercial vehicles. Therefore, insiders believe that it will be applicable for the electric semi-truck, to be launched by Tesla on Oct. 26.

(Collaborative media: TechNews, photo courtesy of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)