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Tesla won't build more battery swap stations


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If you've ever taken your Tesla to a battery swap station then, according to Elon Musk, you're in a minority. At the company's shareholders meeting, the CEO revealed that the uptake on the service has been miniscule. Musk said that, by this point, every Model S owner in California had been invited to book an appointment, but only a handful took them up on the offer. As such, it's highly unlikely that the company will persist with the plans, instead focusing its time, money and resources on building out its popular supercharger network.

It is possible to think that, perhaps, the whole battery swapping plan was intentionally holed below the water line from the start. After all, the company's first round of invites went to just 200 users, of which only four or five expressed a positive interest. Part of that is because people don't normally book scheduled appointments to visit the gas station, so it's not something that they're used to. Then there's the fact that nobody's going to pay another $60-plus for "instant charging" when a Supercharger is free and you get to visit the restroom at the same time.

Musk also spoke about his company's international network of EV refueling stations, and admitted that some people were taking advantage of the free electricity. They may be intended only for re-juicing your engine during long trips, but locals have been sneakily using them for short top-ups. Those who have been identified have been sent a polite, but firm, note saying that it's cool every now and again, but to stop ruining it for everybody else.

The CEO also made mention of the fact that the Supercharger network is currently sourcing its power from conventional energy sources. Musk has pledged that, wherever it's possible to do so, the network will be outfitted with solar panels and a Powerwall battery so that "the entire Supercharger network is powered by sunlight."

[Image Credit: AFP/Getty]

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