Is Tesla’s Secret 5 Minute Charge Just a Battery Swap?

Is Tesla’s Secret 5 Minute Charge Just a Battery Swap?

A month ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk made yet another dramatic (and cryptic) proclamation, announcing on twitter that there exists a way to recharge his Model S electric sedan in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank.

Has Musk discovered (or invented) the solution to the biggest problem facing electric cars? Has he made the conventional internal combustion engine and fossil fuel industry obsolete? Should you sell your stock in Exxon and kiss your Ford F-150 good bye?

Not exactly.

In another tweet earlier this morning, Musk may have revealed that this rapid charging solution may in fact be nothing more than battery swapping. In it he announced that on Thursday night he will put on a “Live pack swap demo” at the company’s Hawthorne, Calif design center.

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According to a report by Forbes, the technology is actually an adaptation of the system developed by Israeli EV company Better Place – which announced its bankruptcy last week.

The move to offer battery swapping stations across the country does seem an odd one, investing in the infrastructure, not to mention the inventory of extra batteries, just weeks after announcing it would expand its Supercharger network across America to enable EV owners to drive from NY to LA. Further complicating the matter is the fact that Tesla’s “active cooling” system for the Model S would make for a difficult quick swap.

Look for more details at 9:30 Pacific Time, Thursday. Expect the usual bold promises from Musk and don’t forget to bring a grain of salt.

[Source: Forbes]

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