Besides limited range, the biggest problem with electric cars is that it takes much longer to get a full charge when compared to the time it takes you to get a full tank of fuel.
Tesla Model S is a great electric car with a very impressive driving range and the Supercharger network is currently free, meaning the actual running costs are quite low if your daily commute has one of the Superchargers near.
Still even with the Supercharger it takes time – you get 50 % battery capacity in 20 minutes (roughly 16 times faster than most public charging stations).
To make things even more faster, Tesla Motors has launched a Model S battery swap project at a custom-built facility across the street from their Supercharger station in Harris Ranch, California.
The pilot project is currently only by appointment and takes just 3 minutes, allowing owners to change out their battery rather than charging. The battery replacement is actually faster than refuelling a standard car’s fuel tank.
The whole program is designed to test the technical aspects of the procedure, and to see if it’s something Tesla drivers actually want. If the feedback is positive and proves popular, it will be rolled out to additional locations.
Tesla did not mention the exact cost, but did say it will cost slightly less than a full tank of petrol for a premium saloon.
According to the automaker, they can eventually reduce the swap time from three minute time to under than a minute.
Here’s a demonstration Tesla did last year on how the battery swap works: