| LOS ANGELES, June 20
LOS ANGELES, June 20 Tesla Motors Inc
on Thursday unveiled a system to swap battery packs in its
electric cars in about 90 seconds, a service Chief Executive
Elon Musk said will help overcome fears about their driving
The automaker will roll out the battery-swapping stations
later this year, beginning along the heavily-traveled route
between Los Angeles and San Francisco and then in the
"There are some people, they take a lot of convincing," Musk
said at an event at Tesla's Los Angeles design studio.
"Hopefully this is what convinces people finally that electric
cars are the future."
Electric cars have been slow to catch on with consumers
because of their high price, limited driving range and lack of a
charging infrastructure. Tesla has been working to address some
of those issues with fast-charging stations and now with the
A battery pack swap will cost between $60 and $80, about the
same as filling up a 15-gallon gas tank, Musk said. Drivers who
choose to swap must reclaim their original battery on their
return trip or pay the difference in cost for the new pack.
Musk demonstrated two Model S battery pack swaps in the time
it took for a car on a screen above the stage to fill up with
gas, about four minutes.
The stations will cost about a half a million dollars each
to build. They will be located alongside Tesla's fast-charging
stations, which take around 30 minutes to charge the car's
Musk told Reuters earlier this week that the
battery-replacement network would entail an investment of $50
million to $100 million.
In contrast to several traditional automakers that have
rolled out electric vehicles that failed to live up to
expectations, Tesla has sold thousands of its luxury electric
cars. Investors have embraced the company's strategy and Tesla
shares have nearly tripled this year.
The announcement comes a month after Better Place, an
electric vehicle company whose business was centered around
battery swapping, said it would liquidate.