No Time To Charge? Tesla Now Offers Battery Swap
Tesla showed off its upcoming battery swapping technology for the Model S electric vehicle last year, which would let users change out their battery rather than charging when on the road for a quick fill-up that’s speedier than actually refuelling a standard car’s gas tank. Starting next week, it’s launching the pilot program of that advancement in Harris Ranch, California, at a new facility directly across the street from the Supercharger in that area.
“At least initially, battery swap will be available by appointment and will cost slightly less than a full tank of gasoline for a premium sedan,” CEO Elon Musk wrote in a blog post on Tesla’s website. “More time is needed to remove the titanium and hardened aluminum ballistic plates that now shield the battery pack, so the swap process takes approximately three minutes.”
Swaps also require setting an appointment in advance, and the process currently takes three minutes, although Tesla anticipates a time when it could take a minute or less. But continued development, and wider rollout, will once again depend on Model S owner interest. For some, the cost of tank of gas might be a primary reason for owning an electric vehicle, but something tells me Tesla’s more rarefied clientele could indeed get excited about trading that extra cash for a little more convenience, especially on long trips.