Elon Musk introduced a new piece of technology in 2013 that could swap out the battery of a Tesla Model S in just 90 seconds. Fast forward two years later and the technology hasn’t received the type of reception Musk was hoping for.
During the company’s shareholder meeting, Elon admitted that only a handful of Tesla Model S drivers had used the battery swapping station at Harris Ranch, California.
“We’ve invited all the Model S owners in the area to try it out, and of the first round of 200 invitations, only four or five people were interested,” Musk said. “Clearly it’s not very popular.”
Jeffries developed an independent study of 145 Tesla and found the same response. 54% of respondents said they were not interested in the battery-swap technology.
The better solution? Customers are looking for super charge stations that can fill up their car better in a matter of minutes instead of hours. When plugged into a Supercharger, a Model S battery can be charged to 80% capacity in just 40 minutes, free of charge. When a customer wants a battery swap they can easily spend $60 and $80.
“The Superchargers are fast enough,” Musk told investors. “If you start a trip from LA to San Francisco at 9:00 a.m., by noon you want to stop, stretch your legs, and get something eat; by the time you are done with that the car is charged and ready to go.”
“Why would you do the pack swap?” the Tesla CEO said. “It doesn’t make much sense.”
Musk admits that battery-swap technology was developed as a secondary option for customers, an option they will not likely expand.
On Friday, Tesla shares closed slightly down at $267.