Hi Elon! Fast, Swap, or Wireless - What do you think?
ELON MUSK "My Guess is it's going to mostly be about really fast charging. We have designed the car to allow for battery pack swapping - we are going to run a battery pack test. We are going to see what people want - and respond accordingly. Wireless charging is challenging"...
As battery swapping and wireless charging seem to be the poor relations in the EVSE landscape - I thought it might be useful to check back on a few words from Elon Musk on the matter. His Q&A from the London Westfield Store Opening back in 2013 was only captured on a mobile phone - so the quality is sadly not the best.
Together with my pal James McLaggan - ahead of our 'big moment' we discussed what we truly wanted to know in regard to the work we are both engaged in.
Progressing Electric Vehicles.
Progressing Batteries in particular.
We were both working within Ricardo at the time - James is now at McLaren and I've started my own consultancy - Electric Vehicles Outlook Ltd.
As the moment approached to ask the 'Chief Electric Warrior' of our nascent industry a question - palms became sweaty and throats become dry. James had decided to ask about battery supply, and what capability Tesla envisaged as the business developed. His excellent question was prescient of the Gigafactory announcement a short while later. Sadly, the battery died (how ironic) on the camera phone before James's moment near the end of the session was captured...
I asked him about the mix of fast, swap, and wireless charging solutions (08:12)
Watching the Q&A again has proved very useful - referencing as it does auto-pilot, stock price, stationary storage for solar, and the business plan overall. Most of what he says Tesla will do, Tesla have done. If you choose to watch it all the way through, you might be struck by how patient and courteous he is to each of the questioners. There are very few Chief Executives who are prepared to walk the line like this.
We are truly edging closer to the realisation that EV's are a match for many needs. My own long held view is that the commercial vehicle arena is the best place to start. Tackling urban pollution from our taxis, buses, and delivery trucks is what 1st principle suggests we should do in regard to air quality and climate change, and Elon has indicated that Tesla have plans in this regard. Bring it on I say! Perhaps he could invest in 'Wrightspeed' in the meantime as they have a great approach in this regard.
In conclusion, and in answer to my own question of Elon, I think we will see a blend of fast, swap and wireless emerge, relative to duty cycle, location, and business case.
If you had the chance to ask Elon one question, what would it be?
...and here's a little compilation I knocked up..