Tesla just unveiled its new battery swap technology, which gives Model S owners the ability to completely charge their electric vehicles in less than half the time it takes a high speed gas pump to refill a tank. Tesla will officially introduce the new technology later this year, giving owners the ability to swap a depleted battery in a Model S for a fully charged one at any Tesla station.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last night that Tesla will make the battery swapping available by the end of the year, starting in California and then followed by Boston and Washington D.C. How does the system work? Last night’s demonstration showed a Model S pulling over a hole, which is similar to a service bay. The driver remained in the car and an automated machine disconnected the existing battery, removed it and replaced it with a fully charged one. The whole process took approximately 90 seconds.

Tesla expects the cost of the battery swap to be about the price of 15 gallons of gas, based on today’s local rates. The best part is that you never have to get out of your car and Tesla will simply bill a credit car on file. If you are making a return trip, then you can return and pick up your original battery pack on the way back, which will be fully recharged.

The battery swapping will take place at Tesla’s Supercharger stations, where 50 batteries will be on hand at a time. The first installations will take place this fall along the Interstate 5 in California, which will make the commute from Los Angeles to San Francisco even easier.

+ Tesla

Via Forbes