Last night Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk teased that the company would show off its battery swap service this evening, and lived up to the promise with an impressive demonstration. Tesla owners will be able to pull into a battery swap facility with their charge is running low, and a staff member will swap out the low battery with a full one. The kicker here is that the swap is performed faster than it takes to fill an empty gas tank at the pump--less than 90 seconds. Owners don't need to leave their vehicles, and the service is priced to be competitive with gas station services. The first swap stations will cost about $500,000 to build, and will appear in some of the busier Tesla corridors, including I-5 in California.
Swapping will take 90secs. You'll never get out of your car. Return the pack on your journey back or keep it & we'll bill you the difference— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) June 21, 2013
Check out the video after the break for the live demo, recorded from the crowd.
Tesla will be showing its new technology that allows Model S owners to swap battery packs in their vehicles as its design center in California on June 20th. CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter, reinforcing previous statements that Tesla would allow its customer to driver longer distances without the need to wait for the battery to charge at a Supercharger location.
We aren't sure if this applies to current Models S cards, or if this is a redesign that will be part of future models. Apparently, switching out the batteries takes just minutes--about the same amount of time that it takes an average car to be filled up with gas.
Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2013
At the D11 conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk just announced a major expansion to the Tesla Supercharger network. According to Musk:
"There's going to be a dramatic acceleration of the Supercharging network. By the end of next month, we'll triple the Supercharger coverage area. There's a map that'll go live tomorrow. By the end of this year, you'll be able to drive from LA to NY just using the Supercharger network. We're improving the density of Superchargers in well-traveled routes, as well as the overall coverage area."
This is huge, as there is always range anxiety for owners of vehicles that are 100% powered by electricity. Rapid expansion of Tesla's Supercharger network is essential to curbing that feeling. Tesla Model S owners using the Supercharger can go from 0% to 80% charged in 30 minutes. Of course, the Model S is a very expensive vehicle, but getting Superchargers in place for when Tesla expects to have a $30,000 range vehicle for sale (in about three years, according to Musk,) will go a long way towards buyer confidence.