Tesla founder Elon Musk has mentioned battery swap service stations as an even faster alternative to charging for EV drivers, and tonight the company showed just how efficiently it can be done. In a demonstration at its design studio, it beat what it claims is the fastest gas pump in LA by exchanging a drained car battery pack for a fresh fully charged one in just 90 seconds. When the $500,000 stations start rolling out, owners will stay in the car the whole time then either swap the battery back for their original on a return trip, or get a bill for the difference based on how new their battery is. According to Reuters, the exchange is expected to cost owners between $60 - $80 each time or about the cost of 15 gallons of gas
Of course, failed outfit Better Place proposed a similar service before it shut down, but Tesla is betting that it can make it work this time. The first service stations are coming to busy corridors, with some planned for I5 in California. Still need more proof? Elon Musk tweeted that video of the event will be available in "about an hour," so check back then.
Update: We're still waiting on the official video, but reader Weapon sent in a link to video shot by an event attendee, which can be viewed after the break. Take a peek and see a pair of Tesla's Model S sedans get quick battery service, one after the other in less time than a fuel pump can deliver one tank of gas.
Update 2: The official event video is up, check it out embedded after the break.
Swapping will take 90secs. You'll never get out of your car. Return the pack on your journey back or keep it & we'll bill you the difference- Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) June 21, 2013
Pack swap video will post in about an hour...- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2013