Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s tussle with battery swaps ends?, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

Posted by Lacee Page June 19, 2013 0 Comment 1817 views


For a long time now, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been speaking about making it possible for its cars to swap batteries quickly. The intent behind the effort is to make longer distance travel a hassle-free experience. Elon Musk, the TESLA CEO announced that the company has planned a demo for the public on Thursday night. In technology will be demonstrated at its Los Angeles design studio. This technology is something that the carmaker is banking on. One of the major hurdles to getting people to transition from traditionally-powered vehicles onto electric powered ones such as the Tesla ones has been the ever-present battery power issue. The success of this technology will help the company in convincing consumers that long-range trips in its vehicle will no longer be a hassle.

Flawed judgment

However, there is definitely flaw in the full-scale battery swapping concept for larger vehicles. The capital cost of battery-swapping infrastructure installation for full-scale electric vehicles is stupendously high. Huge robotic machinery is necessary to remove the big and heavy battery pack. Another reason is that battery-swapping takes long distance driving habits into consideration as this is when users depleting vehicle traction packs regularly. Long distance driving is not a rule but an exception. Complex latching mechanisms and relocating the battery to the bottom of the car are just some of the other issues.

Electric power and more

GM is another carmaker who is struggling with electric cars of its own. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said that its Chevy Volt will now have less electric-range than the existing  one, probably not over 18-30 miles, after which its range-extending engine will kick on for added travel. This carries it 300 or so miles further.

GM engineers have been hard at work under the hood of the next-generation Volt/ /ELR/ Ampera, but fact is that key decisions such as battery-pack capacity have possibly not been finalized yet.

With the prices of lithium-ion cell dropping 6-85 annually, the 2016 Volt’s battery pack will be far less-expensive than the December 2010 launched model. The second generation cars will also be produced in greater quantities, which will lead to efficiency in terms of scaling-down costs. There is also the possibility that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) might decide to launch more than one single battery-pack size, just as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been doing with the Model S electric luxury-sport sedan.


About Lacee Page

Lacee Page is our White House and political campaign reporter. Lacee also covers justice and national law enforcement issues and congressional reporter focusing on the outputs of the legislative process: government spending, agency regulation and congressional oversight. Lacee received a national Edward R. Murrow for spot news award and the regional Associated Press award for best newscast. Lacee attended Riverview High School near Coshocton, and graduated from Ashland College in Ashland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

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