Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) fueling the battery-swapping debate
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a decade old and a lot of critics and skeptics have been surprised by its performance. Last month, the electric-car company had announced that it will be launching a battery-swapping service for its Model S cars that travel longer distances and need more battery power. It was a definite boon for Tesla car owners who felt constrained when it came to traveling long-distances in their electric cars.
Credits and more
Apart from the fact that its customers are benefited, it is a good way for the company to get maximum zero-emission vehicle credits in California. Tesla earns these for every Model S vehicle that it sells. In the Q1, it is these credits that were the differentiating factor between profit and loss for the company. Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO says that the company is bracing itself for the eventuality that the revenue from the sales of ZEV credits will drop to zero by the end of 2013.
The refueling tactic
However, the company is not going to be turning down any such sales if they do occur. Under the existing rules, the ability to swap Model S batteries permits Tesla to earn the maximum number of credits per car. Fast refueling counts for a lot when it comes to accruing credits. With just the battery that the car was outfitted with, Tesla would never have been able to hit the bar for fast refueling that had been laid out by the California regulators. But battery-swapping saved the day.
Change of rules
Why this issue has now been brought back into the limelight, is the fact that regulators in the state are now considering a change in rules. They might remove the option of “pack-swapping”, for meeting the requirement of “fast-refueling”. Tesla, however, is unfazed by this news and will continue with setting up its maze of Supercharger quick-charging spots. The battery-swapping option will stay and customers can take their pick.