Tesla, the manufacturer of luxury plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), will be holding an event at its Hawthorne, California, design studio on June 20 where it will demonstrate its new quick swapping battery technology. The success of the brand depends largely on how widely it can implement a battery swapping infrastructure that would increase the range of its cars, which are currently limited to a roughly 250 mile radius on one charge.
If the company can install swapping and charging stations on a grander scale, it could incentivize more consumers to switch to PEVs. The biggest obstacle at this point to wider acceptance of cars like the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf is the fact that the automobiles require several hours for a full battery recharge. Tesla has built a few pilot "supercharger" stations that allow for quicker re-energizing, but there are not nearly enough to convince drivers they won't be left stranded if they attempt a long voyage.
By building a network of swapping facilities, Tesla can ensure that its drivers will be able to stop their vehicles, change out the old battery for a fully charged unit, and be on their way in the same amount of time that it would take to fill a tank of gasoline. This would be a major victory for advocates of reduced energy consumption, as it would mean greater promise for a future in which cars are powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels.