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Some Swap Details from a Reuters Interview with Elon

Here is a link for a reuters interview where Elon talks about many things including the swapping many times. He says that it will be surprisingly quick, have better tech than Better Place, be availible based on demand, so possibly at every supercharger eventually, it will have a compelling pricing, and finally that you won't have to get out of your car. The rest of the interview is worth watching too.

Here is the link:

Awesome interview.
It makes me want to go buy some more Tesla stock.

If you could buy stock in a person I would buy it in him.

I think my favorite part was the horses comment. Seriously, I'm turning into a fan-boy. Does that happen late in life normally?

Im 17 and would consider myself a fanboy...Maybe early in life too?

Yes may favorite bits are at the end.

1) You don't have to get out of the car
2) Is he hinting that it is "much quicker" than 30 seconds with the whole laptop battery speech?

Elon is unbelievable. One of the true visionaries of our time.

@cnosshea6 - thanks for posting. I think most of us here are Elon fanboys, though we would never call ourselves that.

@uselesslogin - nice handle - I don't think he was saying that the Tesla battery swap would be quicker than 30 seconds, but was pointing out how quickly batteries can be swapped in general. Then again, you never know. After seeing this interview, I sort of envision a drive-in, car wash like tunnel, where you swipe an access card (or maybe all automated to sense your car,) drive into the tunnel, the battery swaps, and you drive out with a fresh battery. All sounds very cool. Wouldn't need it often, but for a long trip, would really be helpful. I saw the Better Place technology in person, and it was pretty fast and very cool. This will likely be better.

Cool. Elon is very well spoken. I am holding TSLA.

Strangely the video in the original Reuters page does not work for me, so here's the video on their YT page:
Very interesting watch.

He was asked directly, "Less than 2 minutes?" and seemed to indicate "yes".


I would have to agree I would be very surprised if it were less than 30 seconds but it was interesting the way he said it. I think Brian H said he indicated yes to less than 2 minutes and I think that one is more reliable because he would have downplayed expectations there if he had to. FWIW I timed myself at the gas station because I was curious. It took me 2 minutes 40 seconds from the time I got out of the car to the time I got back in and was ready to go. If it isn't faster than that I will be very disappointed.

I actually think Wall Street types will be disturbed by Elon's interview here. He made the statement that he hopes the competition does well and gets into the EV market soon. He said that he is running Tesla because he wants to move the transition to electric cars forward.

Financial types don't want to hear this kind of hippy crap. They want to hear that he has a sound business model, and he is going to do everything he can to make money for the shareholders. They don't want to hear about higher goals.

Elon even decried this aspect of running a publicly traded company in this interview. When they asked him about taking SpaceX public, he said that his experiences with Tesla and others has turned him off. He clearly is chomping at the bit that wall street has fitted Tesla with.

If I were a lemming Wall Street type, all this would make me very nervous.

Since I believe in Elon's vision, I'll hold on to the stock no matter what... But people like me don't set the price.

TFMethane "...Financial types don't want to hear this kind of hippy crap..."


Most Wall street types have forecast doom and gloom for Tesla and TSLA since day one. I put my trust in Elon!

When was the last time you had a conversation with a "financial type" that had any vision or any interest in truly adding value? It took the first startup for me to realize that venture funding was a waste of time. You end up trying to convince people with a short timeframe to think longer term. My time was much better spent actually accomplishing what I set out to do thus the second start up did not involve outside funding and did quite well.

I guess I agree with a lot of the Europeans when they look at the US and think why are these people so focused on chasing money for money's sake. I prefer Elon's approach-

Do the job well, add value and the money will come.
Get the majors on board to achieve critical mass thus improving life for everyone. There is more than enough room for Tesla to thrive as one or more of the majors will likely not be around in the future. Following the train of thought just a bit further, if none of the majors follow you, you will be relegated to a niche product with narrow acceptance and no real room to grow.

Lastly, when was the last time market cap was tied to reality? I take the NASDAQ daily volume and divide it by the whole population of the US and quickly realize each and every american is not trading that much stock every day. It is a market of machines and not people thus valuation is loosely tied to reality if at all.

of course, Elon says it best towards the end of the interview when he talks about why he is not taking SpaceX public. He says something like it is hard to talk to financial types about a company that wants to go to mars and will pay off really big in twelve years when those people will have gone through two career changes by then......

Is it not the tail waging the dog when people that will go through two career changes in twelve years (I know, I'm being literal here) have this much impact on how and which companies are funded? Just think about how this is thinning our corporate DNA not to mention the depth of our vision.


The way the stock market works (with it's quarterly results mentality) is damaging capitalism's ability to benefit mankind in the long term. His reasoning for not taking Space-X public is sound, and the rare case where private funding beats public funding for long-term benefits that are not necessarily financially profitable (but usually is).

I'm also a big fan of Elon's method of not doing "market research". The vision of the masses is NOT the way to move innovation forward. Individuals (and sometimes groups) find solutions that the market needs and, slowly, the market adapts to the new found "solutions". You do not, as Elon rightly pointed out, ask what horse owners want, in order to invent a car.

+50 minutes of an extremely open hearted and interesting exchange of ideas!
The hydrocarbon climate change part was a no-go for me, but OK, it is his values and I respect that. And likely lots of friends here share the same idea so I leave it.
His visions and his ideas are refreshing and reinforcing what he has indicated before, that the technology advances TM represents are significant and will remain so. He is in it for the long haul. No doubt about that.
The battery swap idea - kudos to those of you that got this one early on as I had no belief in this seemingly monstrosity of a logistics nightmare - so sweet and such a 2nd level game changer! You just have to love this guy's ability to "keep it simple stupid" and deliver time and time again.
I think that those of us that has - early adopters as we are - bought into TM are very lucky to have such a guy to head this very exciting development called MS. And those that has bought shares, hold on to them. This will go sky high. Elon Musk is Steve Jobs times 10!

GeirT +1

GeirT +1

the devils in the detail now with this battery swap option. Have to hear what the business plan will be on the 20th. How does this affect 8 year battery warranty and post warranty coverage, leasing, resale, etc... Think swap is a temporary solution to the range issue and hope Tesla doesn't go too deep into infrastructure on it. Only magic bullet for me here is if a swap station is part of a larger strategy to eventually turn each SC station into a service center. That would be a very Elon type surprise announcement thing to do...

Apparently the purpose designed, robotic Better Place swap takes 6.5 minutes. Can't see the current Model S beating that. Guess we find out tomorrow?

Agree with those saying that capitalism in America has gone astray. It needs to be reformed to focus on long term benefits and problem solving and away from quick-money trading Trying to short Tesla stock instead of investing for the long haul. That attitude is traitorous to this country's future.

One of the things I took away from the interview was Elon saying that he would basically be running 2 companies for the next 5 years, SpaceX and Tesla. I also got the impression that after that time period, SpaceX was gonna be his only baby. But heck, I'd do the same, if I was that smart. :-)

Reuters: "What's the ideal number of companies to lead?"
Elon: "One! *laughs*"

I think in 5 years Elon will begin (or already have) put together his holding company which will include Tesla, SpaceX, Solarcity, Hyper loop company, and a few other start ups that will support his vision of creating a sustainable colony on Mars. Has to complete the approved version here on earth first before it would have any success over there. Means have to develop sustainable energy production/consumption independent of hydro carbons (solarcity, tesla), also transportation to and from Mars (SpaceX), sustainable transport system on mars (hyper loop) and other soon to be developed companies here on Earth first before any chance somewhere else.

Elon will not be the CEO of these companies, but he will continue his "product architect" roll in each of them. His grand vision will give the motivation, purpose, direction to each company CEO, which in return will result in the best business practices across the board. Since all companies know the overarching objective, vast synergies will occur only adding further value. Therefore, he may not be CEO, but he'll be deeply involved in Tesla, SpaceX, Solarcity, and all the others. Investors will have nothing to worry about. In fact, I suspect they get very excited when this happens. If you want an early snap shot, just look at the ascent of Solarcity stock. Elon's involvement, indirect or direct, imbues market confidence.

Elon's story is a masterclass in the importance of clear, deep vision to a successful business.

@jk - sorry to disagree but Elon will not be combining these companies under one roof. They each have different ownership characteristics making this impractical. And there is no advantage to do so. In fact, it would complicate each organization unneedlessly.

Well, this is where regulations come in. For one thing, when CEOs had to wait about 5 years for their stock-based bonuses and incentives to mature, they had to make relatively long-term decisions so that their stocks would have value when those 5 years are up. Now, there's hardly any limit...CEOs can cash-out after what, a year? They face no consequences for their actions.

For another, this hedge-fund loophole that allows groups to day-trade, but are considered in aggregate as long-term gains, allows these gains to be taxed at the lower tax rate for long-term capital gains. If that hole was plugged up, there would be much less incentive for these destabilizing practices to continue.

In general, and I might get tarred and feathered for this, but I was taught that the stock market was designed to make it easier for companies to attract capital. I was taught, perhaps naively, that the purpose was NOT gambling, but investing. Over the approx. 2 years that I started my peanuts' worth of stock investing, I've seen huge swings in small caps that have no bearing on company news or its market segment, yet the swings really take their toll on those companies' ability to plan and grow. These pracatices should simply be illegal, or taxed so highly that it would be prohibitive to do so.

For example, shorting should be illegal. It is gambling, not investing. You are betting that a company will fail, or at least, that their stock will drop substantially within a certain period of time. Since when does this help any company? There is no value-add to this type of "trading". It is simply and undeniably an abuse and destabilizing force of a critical lynchpin of our economy - capital markets.

I'll get off my soapbox now and pass the hat.

Shorting is the way to control the bubbles. Otherwise it can go to $1000 that doesn't make any sense.

JZ13 Straight off some random website (

"Holding Company Benefits and Advantages
The holding company generally produces no products or services and is simply a vehicle for owning shares of other companies. If the holding company owns 80 percent of the voting stock of another company (the subsidiary), the holding company can qualify for tax-free dividends. Another benefit is the reduced risk exposure. The only risk the holding company has is the capital invested. The holding company also benefits from the subsidiary's goodwill and reputation, while being sheltered from risks faced by the subsidiary in the case of legal issues, tax liabilities and lawsuits.
Other Benefits Associated With Holding Company
Structuring a holding company makes sense from a number of perspectives. When raising capital a larger holding company has more diversity of assets than an individual company, which makes raising capital easier. In addition, if the holding company loans the subsidiary money, the holding company can secure the loan with the assets of the subsidiary, thereby creating a collateralized loan that places the company in first position in the event of bankruptcy. Furthermore, the holding company can set corporate policies over all subsidiaries without interfering with individual management of the subsidiaries."

How would this complicate or not benefit Elon's vision success?

@jk...he has already said he will not do the hyperloop but will give the idea away as he does not have time to make it happen himself.