Tesla's battery-swapping station is said to be able to switch out one of the vehicles' batteries in less than three minutes. That's great – if is was open to the public. As of right now, the station is open only to a "small number" of owners participating in a pilot program, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tesla confirmed that the station was operating under limited use but declined to elaborate. There are more than a few who think that the station is operating only to benefit from California's zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) credit system.
The state of California, which reduced the number of credits each Model S generates starting with 2014 model year vehicles, grants a larger number of valuable ZEV credits for cars that have the ability to swap batteries, so the station could be just a way for Tesla to generate a lot of credits. For now, though, given the situation, most Tesla drivers shouldn't bother trying to access that lone swapping station anytime soon.