(photo credit: Elon Musk- twitter)
Electric car company Tesla Motors unveiled switchable-battery technology
Thursday night, introducing a model made famous by the now-defunct Better Place,
which filed for bankruptcy in May.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk
announced via Twitter early last week that the company would be demonstrating
its own swappable battery, a feature it would add to its growing network of
SuperCharge stations in the United States. The Model S car, on the road since
June 2012, had been designed with the ability to swap battery packs all along,
he said in a later Tweet.
“It’s about convincing the people who are
skeptics. They take a lot of convincing.
What we want to show here is
that you can be more convenient than a gasoline car,” Musk said.
the demonstration, two Tesla vehicles swapped their batteries in the same amount
of time as a gasoline car refueling in Los Angeles, taking about 90 seconds each
to the gas car’s four minutes.
“Hopefully this is what convinces people
finally that electric cars are the future,” Musk added.
however, is that Tesla customers will have to pay for the 90-second battery
swap, while the SuperCharge station’s use will remain free. Drivers will have to
decide: “Do you prefer faster or free?” The Tesla SuperCharge stations, which
are planned to cover the major highways in the United States by 2015, allow
drivers to charge half their battery in 20-30 minutes.
Tesla’s cars have
a maximum range of 265 miles per charge (426 km.), significantly higher than the
120 km. maximum on Better Place’s Renault cars.
“When we designed the
Model S we thought we should preserve the optionality. We thought what if
people do want to stop only for a short period of time?” Musk said.
Agassi, the founder of Better Place who pioneered and championed batteryswap
technology since 2007, did not respond to The Jerusalem Post’s requests for
Early last week, Tesla recalled a set of its cars due to a weak
latch holding the leftback seat in place that “reduces our confidence that the
left-hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash.”