Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dazzled a crowd last Thursday night during the electric-vehicle maker's battery swap event in California. The company's CEO, Elon Musk, took the stage to host a demonstration of how Model S owners can recharge their all-electric cars in half the time it takes to refill a traditional car with gas.
Seeing is believing
It's game on for gas cars versus EV technology. In just 90 seconds, Tesla can replace your EV's empty battery with a fully charged one. During the presentation Musk explained:
When you come to a Tesla supercharging station you have the choice of the supercharger, which is and always will be free... Or, you have the choice of a battery pack swap, which is faster than you can fill a gas tank. ... The only decision that you have to make when you come to one of our Tesla stations is do you prefer faster or free?
The audience responded with laughter and you couldn't help feeling as though you'd witnessed the rebirth of the late Steve Jobs.
Dressed all in black, Musk's showmanship really drove home the point that electric cars can be just as, if not more, convenient than their gas-guzzling equivalents. With its network of supercharging stations, Tesla is working to address the lack of charging infrastructure that plagues EV adoption in the United States.
From the pump to the plug
The swap solution for Tesla's battery pack, will be an option that's available at all Tesla supercharger stations. For about the cost of a tank of gas, between $60 and $80, Tesla drivers can swap their battery for a fully charged one in less than 90 seconds time. According to Reuters, "Drivers who choose to swap must reclaim their original battery on their return trip or pay the difference in cost for the new pack."
That seems fair. Meanwhile, for Tesla, the hope is that this added convenience would entice even more drivers to become Tesla EV owners. It's worth mentioning that these battery-swap stations could cost Tesla as much as $100 million to build, according to Musk. Still, that's a worthy investment if it helps Tesla turn more skeptics into believers and more drivers into Tesla EV owners.
Electric is the future
Tesla's plan to disrupt the global auto business has yielded spectacular results. From the company's innovative retail strategy to its most recent battery-swap solution. However, giant competitors are already moving to disrupt Tesla. Will the company be able to fend them off?