It is impressive to just swap batteries instead of charging. That would make the electric vehicle comparable to a gasoline vehicle in the time to refuel. I'm not sure how they would handle end of life of the batteries. Would the refueling stations bear that cost? Also, you would have to be careful not to get any undercarriage damage. It could ruin the battery.
About charging batteries, I figured they weren't being instantly charged, Junko. So my comment was, assuming people think this would be a viable large scale solution, just how much heavy lifting and bulky object moving around is going on, behind the scenes? A whole lot.
As you say, a Tesla-only solution like this is not very credible, as a solution to battery shortcomings. If battery powered electrics have a future, it has to be based on a standard approach shared by everyone. So that was the point of my comment. This doesn't seem to be a large scale solution, when you get beyond the marketing gimmick of the battery swap video. I don't want to be one of the "ooh aaah" crowd.
I agree, Bert. The audience's reaction to that video released by Tesla is a bit too much. I, too, cringed.
Just to be clear, that system, shown in the video, doesn't charge batteries quickly. It simply takes out a depleted battery and replaces it with a fully charged one.
And when it comes to charging, although Tesla is rapidly reducing the charging times, Tesla Model S relies on a network of "supercharging" stations designed exclusively for Tesla. While technology advancements Tesla is making commendable, creating its own network of charging stations doesn't seem to advance the EV agenda as a whole...
I have to say, I absolutely cringe at the oohs and aahs of the faithful gathered, in the video. Please!
Someone should take a look at how many cars go through gas sations, say along a busy interstate. And then calculate what volume and weight of batteries that gas station would have to be handling, per day, compared with the volume and weight of gasoline. And factor in that the gasoline car would make perhaps 1/3 to 1/10th as many fuel stops as the battery-powered electric.
Vehicle roll-over was a minor issue, until those swine SUVs became so popular. A battery-powered electric SUV, where the battery sits above the separate frame, would most likely also be more prone to rollover, than a low slung car. The only thing that matters here is to see where the wheel hubs are located, compared with the center of mass. Vehicles meant to ride over rough terrain HAVE to locate their frame well above the wheel centers. Instead, "modern" cars, as of the 1930s or so, have their frames and bodies wrapped AROUND the drivetrain, to lower the center of mass. This is all there is, to the rollover issue. A Tesla is not the same as a big pig of a Ford Expedition.
It's nice to get a different connection between 'lithium ion' and 'safety'. Between fiery laptops, cellphones, and Boeing planes it was starting to feel like batteries would be classified as WMDs. At some point people might wonder about those crazy 20th-century drivers that carried a tankful of explosives in every car. It doesn't bode well for car-chase scenes in future action movies, though...
I have a FORD Escape Hybrid. It is also safer than the combustion engine version. One reason is that the weight of the batteries significantly lowers the center of gravity. I can drive steep mountain roads in say Yosemite with better traction and "feel" for the road.
Divakar - I've seen a video of the battery replacement process. It drops down. Tesla released a video showing the process being done in about 60 seconds. It's pretty impressive. I would have to imagine that in a real-world setting, it would take longer, but even at two or three times, it would still be very quick.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.