The Musketeer dressed as a circus announcer held stage this week to launch his 90 second battery swap idea. The crowd went wild watching the two ring circus of a guy filling up his normal car with gasoline side by side with the rapid swap of the 85 kwh battery pack on a Model S. Of course the Model S swap was faster as the guy with gasoline filled up with just over 23.2 gallons of gas and had to pay for the transaction with a credit card while the Model S guy just sat in his car watching the 19 inch screen show he was now tanked up. Here is the video if you are interested to be entertained by a clown dressed in a tuxedo jacket.
Now let’s analyze the thermodynamics and economics of the side by side transactions.
The 23.22 gallons with the DOE energy content of 37.3 kwh per gallon meant 866.1 kwh of energy was transferred from the gas pump to the car in essentially the same time the Teslacle got a measly 85 kwh of energy transferred. Actually less than 85 kwh as the old battery in the Teslacle probably had some charge left. A ten times larger transfer of energy in the same amount of time in the case of the gasoline car. Thermodynamics round 101 to the gasoline Audi by a ten to one margin.
The 23.22 gallons cost the gasoline car owner $99.83 for the fill-up. The battery swap for the 85 kwh of batteries at a real price of $1,000 per kwh was a transaction that was valued at $85,000. Granted Elon got back an uncharged battery pack and it has value so let’s now assume old Elon has to keep 1.5 packs for each car as he is offering the 90 second swap he needs extra packs. Let’s round out value of the 1.5 packs to $120,000 and let’s assume the 1.5 packs will propel vehicles a total of 120,000 miles. This is a cost of $1 per mile. Even if the Musketeer gives away the electrons for free and the Audi only gets 22 MPG the Teslacle owner or someone will pay the equivalent of $22 per gallon. This is five times as much as Audi owner paid for premium gas. Economics round 101 to the gasoline Audi by a five to one margin.
Now for the zinger the Audi will go 510 miles on the 23.22 gallons of premium grade gasoline. The Teslacle will barely do 230 miles. So the Teslacle owner will waste his time on 2.22 battery swaps for each time the Audi owner wastes his precious time at the pump. The Audi owner saves time as it is not a case of one battery swap for one gas fill up but 2.22 battery swaps for each gas fill-up. Time Management round 101 to the Gasoline Audi by a 2.22 to one margin.
The Audi wins by 10 times 5 times 2.2 or 110 fold over the Teslacle. The Musketeer could have made it a three ring circus if he had his Solar City PV cells on the dark stage and claimed that these new cells even make electricity when it is pitch black outside simply from the vibrational sound of circus music. Now that would have been something for the thermodynamic neophytes in the audience to applaud.
Old Monty had a Flying Circus and Elon is just not quite levitating yet. That will be next when he brings SpaceX into the act of flying Model Ss that are refilled in mid-flight.