Tesla recently demonstrated that the company can swap a battery in their Tesla Models S in about 90 seconds. This is quicker than the time it takes to fill-up a car with gas (at least that is how it was shown in the demonstration). You can checkout the presentation by Elon Musk and the demonstration of the Tesla Model S battery getting swapped out in this 7 minute video.
At the beginning of the demonstration Musk says, “What if people do want to switch out their battery pack? What if people only want to stop for a short period of time?” Musk talks about how you have two options when stopping at a Tesla supercharger station, faster or free. Faster being the battery swap so you can continue on your journey or the fast charge where you can wait and discuss with other electric car owners how awesome everyone is since you all own a Tesla Model S.
While the video demonstrated what Tesla wanted to show gas vs a battery swap. On the right side you see a guy getting gas at what Musk claimed is the faster gas station in Los Angeles since it pumps 10 gallons of gas a minute. On the left side you see on the stage demonstration of the Tesla battery swap. However, what I don't like is that Tesla doesn't really show the battery getting swapped out from any camera angles. You can't see what is going on under the car and how the battery gets swapped out which would have made this battery swap demonstration about 100 times better.
Tesla was really thinking ahead in the terms of the usability and design of the Tesla Model S by incorporating having the option to swap a battery out. Recently the Tesla Model S was awarded a 99 out of 100 rating by Consumer Reports. This is the highest rating a car has ever received in Consumer Reports testing and only 1 other car got a 99 score. However, swapping an electric car battery is nothing new.
Swapping electric car batteries was the main idea behind the electric car startup Better Place. It's a smart since electric cars have limited range and you have to stop to get as anyway. Unfortunately like a lot of car companies and great ideas the idea failed as Better Place filed for bankruptcy in May 2013. So will people want to stop to swap a battery on the Tesla Model S?
It is possible since Tesla and Elon Musk seems like they are the only stand alones who have truly been able to make a serious impact with electric cars. They have turned around skeptics and made supporters of EV's even more strong. Hey, if you can get the battery swapped out wouldn't that take away the worries about electric car range anxiety?
Tesla and Elon Musk are quite the show offs but that's what I like about Tesla.