Electric car maker Tesla Motors unveiled a new swappable battery for its vehicles at an event near Los Angeles Thursday Night.
The demonstration before hundreds of electric car owners showed how drivers can swap out a drained battery in their Model S cars in as little as 90 seconds — much quicker than filling up a traditional car with fuel, GigaOM reports.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company plans to offer battery swap services at select Supercharger stations by as early as the end of 2013. The service will first be rolled out in California, with additional sites added between Boston and Washington D.C. soon after, Forbes reports.
Battery swaps will be fully automated, according to Forbes. A machine will disconnect your drained battery and replace it with a fully-charged one without the driver ever needing to leave the car, according to Forbes.
Musk said the swap will cost about the same as 15 gallons of gas — but the service is much quicker and more convenient than filling up at the pump, he said.
One small catch: If you receive a battery pack that’s newer than the one you swapped out you will be billed for the difference, through the cost is yet to be announced.
Alternatively, you can make retrieve the old pack on a return trip, but you will still be charged for a “transport fee.”
The new tech promises to boost the range of the Tesla Model S Roadster well beyond the 265 miles promised for a single charge, Daily Tech reports.
- Tesla shows off battery swap tech (gigaom.com)
- Elon Musk Shows off Tesla Battery Swap Option: Do You Want Fast or Free? [Video] (latinospost.com)
- Energy Innovation: Tesla Wows With 90 Second Battery Swap (theenergycollective.com)
- Tesla Debuts EV Battery Swap System (environmentalleader.com)