Tesla’s Model S battery-swap pilot program is launching next week

Tesla showed off its upcoming battery swapping technology for the Model S electric vehicle last year, which would let users change out their battery rather than charging when on the road for a quick fill-up that’s speedier than actually refuelling a standard car’s gas tank. Starting next week, it’s launching the pilot program of that advancement in Harris Ranch, California, at a new facility directly across the street from the Supercharger in that area.

Tesla has been on a roll lately and now the company has unveiled the next step in its long-term plan to make electric cars the way of the future: A battery swap pilot program that Tesla promises will let you replace your Model S’s battery “in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank.” “Starting next week, we will pilot a pack swap program with invited Model S owners,” Tesla writes. “They will be given the opportunity to swap their car’s battery at a custom-built facility located across the street from the Tesla Superchargers at Harris Ranch, CA. This pilot program is intended to test technology and assess demand.” The downside of this for Model S owners is that they’ll have to make appointments to get their batteries replaced, at least for a little bit. The upside, though, is that Tesla says the cost of the swap “will cost slightly less than a full tank of gasoline for a premium sedan.” Tesla says its eventual goal is to become so proficient at battery swapping that the entire process will take less than a minute.

By Sal McCloskey

+Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,

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