In a presentation on Thursday night, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk unveiled a new quick-swap battery option for Tesla Model S owners who want the option to fully charge their vehicle in seconds.
Originally, Tesla’s charging stations only enabled the Model S to charge its battery via plug-in for 30-40 minutes. Now, owners have the option to swap out the old battery for a fully charged battery in around 90 seconds.
The announcement is major news for Tesla because it dismisses a strong case against its vehicles. Previously, if a Model S owner wanted to take a trip across the continental United States, the driver would have to recharge at least 10 times and wait up to 40 minutes per charge. The battery swap solves this issue entirely.
“What we really wanted to show is that (our cars) can actually be more convenient than a gasoline car,” Musk said. The company also announced that the first battery swap stations will be located off the I-5 in California and along the Boston-DC route to facilitate popular long drives.
In the on-stage presentation, Tesla replaced the batteries of two Model S vehicles in around 93 seconds each. Meanwhile, an Audi A8 on display took around four minutes to fill and cost almost $100.
Each battery swap will cost Model S owners money, but Musk claims it will cost no more than gasoline on a per-mile basis. Supercharging, however, will remain free.
“The only decision you need to make when you come to one of our Model S stations is do you prefer faster or free?” Musk said. “Hopefully this is what convinces people finally that electric cars are the future.”
On the news, Tesla shares rose around 3 percent early Friday morning and then sold off with the market by afternoon. Shares were off 0.1 percent to $100.47 during afternoon trading.
The video of the presentation is available at this link:
Tesla Pack Swap Event video is up: http://t.co/KeUoBoMYEB— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) June 21, 2013