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Comment Re:Couldn't the battery be replaced instead? (Score 2) 145

An EV battery is not some 12V with a couple leads sticking out of it. Just like an engine, it requires rigid attachment to the frame, integration with the airflow circulation, etc. It's not just sitting in some compartment that you can open up, it generally runs the length of the entire vehicle, having a meaningful impact on structural strength. The EV pack is also significantly heavier than most car engines (~500-600kg for Teslas - you can get whole cars lighter than that). And HV connectors are a lot more sensitive than just some random wire. When it comes to engineering, designing the HV connectors to survive numerous removal / reconnection connection cycles without degradation is one of the hardest parts. It's one thing to demonstrate simply swapping it once, but ensuring reliability is a much more challenging part.

Beyond that, your comparison of a car engine not designed for swapping with an EV pack designed for swapping is facetious.

Comment Re:Okay, but... (Score 2) 145

What is that website exactly? For one, it only seems to list Europe. Secondly, when you limit it to *fast chargers* (since that's what's being discussed), Tesla comes out in the middle in Europe. Lastly, the site doesn't seem to list nearly as many Tesla superchargers as Tesla itself does.Even if you only count "locations" rather than "chargers", then Tesla has 296 in Europe, while that map lists 146.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 145

Global network.

10,000 chargers.

That's one every 5750 (ish) square miles.

Well done.

Did you seriously just divide Earth's total land area by the number of chargers? Great to know that I can pop over to a Tesla supercharger when I'm in the middle of Antarctica, Greenland or the Sahara.

Tesla Superchargers are only found in:
  * The US (not including Alaska)
  * Southern Canada (and not all of southern Canada)
  * Europe
  * Israel
  * UAE
  * Southeast coastal Australia (plus one in the west, and a couple in NZ)
  * Japan
  * South Korea
  * East China

In the US, Superchargers are spaced 50-100 miles apart along all but a handful of interstates (the latter to be added by the expansion), as well as smaller highways in more densely populated areas (many more to be added by the coming expansion). Which is more than enough to drive cross country. Note that we're only talking about superchargers; there are also many more slower chargers in place.

Comparing it to gas stations is a stupid comparison, firstly because there are vastly more cars on the road, and thus vastly more gas stations needed. But beyond that is the more basic point: EVs don't do most of their charging at superchargers. Gas vehicles must fill up at gas stations. EVs overwhelmingly don't fill up at superchargers. Superchargers are for trips.

Comment Re:Couldn't the battery be replaced instead? (Score 2) 145

Exactly this. The concept of "battery swapping" is at least as difficult as the concept of "engine swapping" (for someone else's engine, at that). It can be done, but you're dealing with a very large, heavy component critical to vehicle structure, with sensitive connections, and very high value, which high stockpiling requirements - multiplied by the number of batteries on the market. And mandating that everyone use the same battery pack will never fly - not out of stubbornness, but because different vehicles represent entirely different capacity needs, power needs, form factors, price ranges, etc, and the technology is a constantly moving target. The sort of battery you're going to put in a 2wd luxury sedan is not the sort of battery you're going to put in an electric jeep, which is not the same sort of battery you're going to put in in a sports car, which is not the same sort of battery you're going to put in a delivery truck, which is not the same sort of battery you're going to put in a motorcycle... (continues ad nauseum).

Battery swap is fun to prototype, but it's not at all practical. Faster and faster charging is the way forward. Which BTW comes inherently with increased capacity. If you go from a 100kW pack made of cells that can charge in half an hour to a 200kW pack made of cells that can charge in half an hour**, then you're going from charging at 200kW to 400kW, and doubling the kilometers-range-per-hour-spent-charging.

** - Pretending that charging is linear, rather than fast in the beginning and slow at the end, for simplicity's sake. ;)

Comment Re:Okay, but... (Score 1) 145

Freed patents are by definition not "proprietary".

Perhaps you mean "non-standard". But again, it's hard to declare Tesla to not be standard when there's more Tesla superchargers than others. And while there's a single widely accepted standard for lower rate charging (J1772 - which Tesla supports), there's a number of competing fast-charging "standards" for fast charging, so again it's hard to declare one arbitrary other standard to be "the" standard.

I'd also argue that Tesla's standard for fast charging is the best one. High peak power, compact footprint, broadly adaptable, etc.

Comment Re:Okay, but... (Score 1) 145

A lot of it simply comes down to battery size. As cells charge in parallel, then for a given cell chemistry and format, the rate you can safely charge is proportional to the vehicle's capacity. And Teslas have huge capacities compared to most other EVs (for example, the Ioniq is only 28kWh).

Now, of course, that's conditional on vehicles using the same types of cells. For example, if one vehicle is using cobalt-based 18650s and another is using, say LiPo or high-rate spinel cells, then the latter can take a much higher power for a given amount of capacity.

Obviously the charger can limit your rate. But in general the charger will be designed to max out at the maximum capability of the pack.

Comment Re: Robots are good (Score 1) 276

Doesn't matter how essential the goods are. All that matters is that competition exists in the market. And if robots can make anything, competition is trivial - just buy some robots and sell the thing cheaper (but still at a profit) and completely displace the other guy.

For that matter, we've seen this curve before - for normal consumer goods, why not have your own manufacturing robots at home, and avoid the markup? There are a few good reasons, but only if the markup isn't too high.

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