I wrote some thoughts about the car revolution we are witnessing and I couldn’t take my mind off the topic since. However reading about Tesla’s charger system expansion changed my focus. If we enter an era where a car is a gadget (even self driven) then users wouldn’t want to waste time with charging – petrol at least smells good but fueling is still just a quick chore – and it’s not smart to put so huge pressure on the electric system for supercharges. It makes more sense when the owners could swap their batteries to a fully charged one at a “battery warehouse” – yes, Tesla offers this service. This way everybody wins: i) users are easily able to use their car again; ii) chargers won’t have to boost the batteries and erode their life expectancy; iii) commuters won’t jump on the cables around the same time shutting the whole system down. The only problem I can see now might be the eventual shortage of available batteries.
When my brain was jumping jacking about this problem and self driving cars I came up with an idea. What if the future cars will have two main parts: the lower part and the upper part. Plain naming, but let me explain. The lower part would have the batteries and other mechanics. The upper part would be the actual cabin where the passengers are. The lower part could be some standardized platform with less added value but able to receive the partially standardized cabin (in order to accommodate the minimal computing capacities for solid self driving ability). This way car manufacturers could build in different extras into the cabins so there would be cheap and expensive options and whenever the car is low on juice the owner could simply send the car to a battery warehouse to change the batteries and the intelligent and automatic warehouse flats the electric usage needed to recharge the batteries in the area.