Tesla once said that battery swapping could be a quick and efficient alternative to lengthy charging times for electric vehicles. However, the technology failed to reach the mainstream and was shelved by the company.
Despite this, a patent filing recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office indicates that battery swapping is back on Tesla’s radar.
The patent includes 52 pages of drawings that depicts a battery swap system which involves a vehicle lift like most mechanics use and a smaller lift which is able to lower the vehicle’s battery pack and replace it with a different one. It is also revealed in the patent that the system could be installed in a service station or form part of a mobile rig.
It is difficult to say why Tesla filed this patent application, particularly since it seemed to have given up on the idea in favor of the Supercharging network. Additionally, the Tesla Model S depicted in the drawings is the pre-facelift model, perhaps suggesting that Tesla created these drawings a number of years ago and is simply patenting the system to discourage other automakers from exploring battery swapping.