Palo Alto based electric car maker, Tesla, has announced a service that will swap out a battery in less than two minutes. The auto maker is trying to address one of the obstacles to electric car adoption: fears of limited driving range. Tesla cars can travel a maximum of 300 miles before needing a recharge.
At a packed event in Los Angeles Thursday, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla will roll out battery swapping stations later this year along the drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Washington to Boston corridor.
Electric cars have been a hard sell due to their high price, limited driving range and lack of public charging infrastructure. Musk says a battery pack swap will take about as long and cost about as much as filling up a 15-gallon gas tank.
Drivers who swap their battery packs will reclaim their original battery on their return trip, kind of like renting a pair of skis. The new battery stations will be built next to the company’s fast chargers which will charge up a Tesla battery in less than thirty minutes.
Tesla’s announcement comes just a month after Silicon Valley based, A Better Place, an electric car battery swapping business, declared bankruptcy.