Lithium Economics

Tesla’s Super-Duper Charging: How about Going Wireless?

Jul 16, 2013

In this blog I ask myself whether we won’t need to wait for the arrival of “the next best thing” (i.e. metal-air batteries) to be part of the electric car revolution in the world.

Following publication of my previous blog, I commented that “Elon Musk never bought the swap idea betting on supercharging instead.” I then rectified, albeit with two caveats, my position in a Seeking Alpha article published right after Tesla’s demonstration of its battery exchange scheme.

My first caveat was that:

“Tesla's swap mechanism is likely to succeed provided its business plan ensures an adequate return on investment in the next 8-10 years, the approximate time required for commercialization of different kinds of metal-air batteries that will also make supercharging, wireless charging and swapping (altogether) obsolete.”

And my second one was that:

“… supercharging will eventually go wireless and, to the extent that this revolutionary mechanism evolves and becomes widespread, it will most likely start displacing swapping as well.”

A new article published today on MIT’s Technology Review has made me wonder whether my first caveat is still relevant. The article, in effect, argues that Tesla is - in the near future- aiming at charging electric cars in five minutes. I would call this super-duper charging.

If this happens to be the case, the battery swap show would be relegated to a simple (although most effective) public relations event to captivate everyone’s attention on the kinds of things Tesla is capable of doing.

I am inclined to believe though that my second caveat remains valid. In fact, if super-duper charging may pave the way for the adoption of more electric cars in the world, wireless super-duper charging is likely to change the world.

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