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Date: 20-12-14

Owning and swapping batteries in electric cars by companies

Two big issues with electric car is its range and distance it can travel in single charge and the charging time it takes. From hundred mile range early electric car models to today's 300-400 km (even more) range highly successful model S Tesla electric car, range issue is solved.

Another problem of longer charging time is reduced from 2-3 hours to 20-30 minutes (for 80% of re-charge) in Tesla S model and latest EVs due to high voltage charging technology.

The third hidden issue in electric cars is deterioration in storage capacity of battery after 3 years of its use even if the battery is not completed its maximum capacity of charging/discharging cycles. Though most of the batteries last longer than three years,, but with a lesser storage capability with the risk of battery charge getting over. After three years, there is more risk of some of the battery units failing suddenly, causing erratic torque generation while driving, due to which sometimes vehicle may halt on the road to protect other batteries from getting damaged. This is basically issue for the owners who don't use their car frequently.

In this kind of situation, electric car makers can own the batteries and sell only the car excluding the price of the battery. Depending on the usage of the car they can rent the battery accordingly by swapping the battery of one car to the other during service visits.

This concept of battery swapping is also can be used for extending the driving range on highways. Tesla is doing that innovatively on pilot basis in US. Tesla is offering battery swapping to some of its registered/opted model S car owners at its supercharging stations in US. Keeping this concept in mind, Tesla model S car is designed in such a way that the batteries-unit can be swapped within three minutes, as fast as gas filling in petrol cars. EV car companies can also make extra profit by charging premium to the car owners who do not want to own the batteries.

Though swapping of car batteries in electric cars is not as easy as changing batteries in smart phones, but with automated robotics -based systems designing electric car with plug-in batteries is practical. Tesla has over 312 stations with more than 1,748 Superchargers worldwide to support this new initiative.

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