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Charge faster than you could fill a gas tank?

Latest Tweet by Elon Musk. What does he mean?

"There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank."

Battery swap is the obvious answer in my mind.

Looks like he followed up:

Elon MuskVerified account ‏@elonmusk 48m
@realbhuwan Don't forget the mystery announcement. Part 5 of the trilogy.

A gallon of "gas" contains 36kwh of energy, approx 25% of which is transferred to useful movement energy (9kwh). I'm going to say pumping ten gallons takes about 3 minutes. That's 30kwh a minute, 1800kwh per hour. Unless there's a new ULTRAcharger around the corner with 1800kw of power I would have to assume he's talking about battery swapping (or some very convoluted maths which talks about queueing time, both to refuel and to pay etc)

Either that or a range extender (hopefully not) or wireless in-motion charging, I'd like that one!

Battery swap id definitely the only way to charge a 85KWH battery faster then filling up with gas.

Holy MegaWatts, Batman!

From a business perspective, the battery swap concept would hit Tesla hard (IMHO). The reason is that they have promised that the 85kWh Model S owners get free access to the Super Chargers. So, if they add the battery swap concept, it may be a bit expensive for them to just "piggy-back". This is a huge assumption on my part.

Hopefully, that does happen and there is a nice super charger station fairly close to my house! :)

Any idea on when the "part 5" of the message is expected?

Either that or it's a joke, because in the future there will be no gas ;)

The only way I can imagine this happening, without a battery swap, is to perhaps charge a super capacitor quickly. The super capacitor then discharges to charge the battery over a longer time. This might even give you a way to extend the range of a 85KWh battery for longer trips. I don't know how feasible this is with today's technology.

Don't you just love these teasers from Elon, and the fact that with each one the whole Telsa experience gets better?

lets assume we are talking about a half charge say 40KWH
filling a gas tank takes no more then six minutes [tenth of an hour]
so- 40/0.1 = 400
[KWH]/[H] = [KW]

can you deliverer a 400 KW current safely?, it doesn't matter if it is going in to a super capacitor.

plus I doubt they hid a super capacitor somewhere in the model S

Yeah, but it's a bit nerve-wracking, doncha think?


Not really. He's not going to big up something that's detrimental! One way or another it's always something beneficial. Call it marketing or showmanship but I quite enjoy it.

Battery swap is not a practical option. As Li-Ion batteries maintenance/charge-discharge rates/# of cycles/temperature stored etc., varies, the life of li-ion varies quite a bit. Would I replace my brake pads with your used brake pads? No. Unless, Tesla comes up a battery swap program and some standard to define the life of Li-ion battery..... of course it would have to come with a cost.

TSLA is already on fire and Elon is adding (pardon the reference) fuel to it!

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire:

I can't wait! Another one of Elon's tweets said that the 5th announcement will be an "announcement/demonstration". Until now, I think most people were guessing that it would be something to do with features or user interface of the car due to the "right under your nose" comment. This new tweet turns us in a specific direction. Now we can all focus our combined efforts and free time on dreaming up the wildest ideas possible! What will Elon demonstrate for us and how will he do it???


now that all model S owners have a "no matter what" battery warranty , doesn't it make your point void?

I mean, it doesn't matter what battery you have right now in your car, because they all are warranted.

other option is that you rent a swappable battery and have yours waiting in a Tesla care center.

Aren't the Superchargers rated for 120KW/H but are currently feeding 90KW/H to the battery? Not that this would make it "faster than filling the gas tank" but could feasibly "top off" in 15-20 min, which they already estimated refuel time at a typical gas station being 15 minutes?

0.25*120= 30 KWH (1/3)*120 = 40KWH

20 minutes at 120 KH gets you 40 KWH
not sure how the media would react to such a weird claim.

in reality it only takes 4-7 min to fill a ICE car in any normal pump

Maybe it is some kind of a joke? Forcing all fossil fuel based pumps to have a limit on flow rate since they are based on non-renewable energy sources? Would be a hell of an incentive for green technology – albeit a fairly outrages one.

Oh boy, what now! :-)

As for the battery swapping: I can see a usage model. You take Tesla's fully charged replacement, move on, come back, pick up your old fully charged battery (charged in your absence) and move on.

@Omnlord: yes, that would be as outrageous as giving someone a 60 kWh battery and software limiting it to only use 40 kWh. Oh, wait.

Just remember, Elon has a flair for hyperbole. It'll probably be a comparison to filling up a 200-gallon semi truck tank.

On a serious note, one of our most noted connectivity manufacturer puts out "generic" hardware, and you enable features in software. Much cheaper for them to manufacture standard hardware configs, and enable functionality, even if 75% of the hardware sits idle. Also easier for the customer to upgrade in place. While the 60/40 split seems weird, it's not unheard of in the business. Plus it's a great advantage to the 40 owners. Want to upgrade? Easy as pie, no parts required.

Arch -- hahaha!

@archibalcrane LOL, we do have to remember that. I love Elon as much as the next MS owner or TM investor, but he does have a penchant for hype. I love it though and just wish this wasn't announcement 5 of 5. I want more anticipation so we can all continue to come up with crazy ideas!

How about a swapable ultracapicitor that slides into the square compartment at the back of the frunk (under the dash) to connect to the battery and charge the battery while driving! This would be 'right under your nose'. I have always wondered why this square compartment is in the frunk, it looks designed to fit something. I know, wild speculation but it is fun.

Elon always talks about your total time at the gas station. I don't think he is referring to just how long it takes to pump the gas, he is talking about spending 15-30min at the gas station, driving up, filling up, bathroom break, maybe a snack, etc.

Based on what we saw with the financing announcement and how they justified the $500/mo cost, @archibaldcrane, one would be wise to keep that in mind.

For any comparisons to be valid, we must compare the time to put x kWh of juice into a battery with the time to pump an equivalent amount of gasoline to drive the same distance. And furthermore, it should be an average of time over a long distance. For example, the Tesla might have to make 2 stops while a gas car with a large tank might only have to make 1 to drive 500 miles.

The time from car off to electricity/gas flowing is less in the Tesla at a Supercharger location. At the local Shell station, it takes 5-6 minutes just to get the gas pumping due to all of the questions it asks me (rewards card #, alt ID phone number, debit or credit, zip code, would you like a car wash today, etc.)!

However, time is lost getting on and off the freeway if I have to make multiple stops.

Why swap batteries, when you can swap whole cars, pony express-style.

Anyone have an idea as to when he plans on making this announcement?