Elon Musk took to Twitter early this morning (via Verge) to promote an event coming this Thursday that promises to show off new tech that allows quick swapping of Tesla battery packs for extended trips, without requiring a Supercharger stop. The move would make a Tesla Model S roadster as easy to fuel up as a gas-powered car, if not easier, getting rid of the need for extended period charging stopovers.
Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.—
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2013
As GigaOM points out, Tesla previously acknowledged that it has built the Tesla S with a swappable battery, so the tech demoed on Thursday shouldn’t apply only to new models going forward or anything quite so cruel. Instead, existing Tesla drivers will likely learn exactly how the system works, which will probably involve adding battery swap stations to existing Tesla charger locations, allowing car owners to essentially trade their expended battery pack module for a fresh one on the spot.
The demonstration of the swapping tech will be shown at the event and then made available via video posted to Tesla’s website later in the evening on Thursday. If it’s easy enough and smartly implemented, it should make it possible for Tesla owners to manage much longer distance trips without requiring a proper recharge, extending well beyond the roughly 265 mile range of the Model S Performance model. So long as swapping units are available, there should be no reason why even a non-stop cross-country trip wouldn’t be possible.