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Tesla To Demo Battery Swapping On Thursday Night

Tesla just about 14 hours ago announced via email to reporters that it would be performing a live battery pack swap demo tomorrow (Thursday, June 20) at 8:00pm (doors opening at 7:30pm) at Tesla’s Design Studio in Hawthorne, California.

Actually, as with many things Tesla, Tesla CEO and Chairman Elon Musk broke the news on Twitter a bit early:

For those of us who can’t make the event, Tesla’s Communications Manager said that a video of the battery swap demo would be available on the company’s website about one hour after the event.

In a follow-up tweet, Elon also added that battery swapping works with all Model S cars — “It was always there.” Here’s that full tweet:

As we noted back in May, an SEC filing showed that Tesla may consider battery swapping in the future. Chris DeMorro of sister site Gas2 wrote at the time, “In their recent SEC filing, on page 38 outlining future plans, Tesla discusses what factors may affect the adoption of electric vehicles. Specifically, the filing says that the ability to ‘…rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack, and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist, but which we plan to introduce in the near future.’ ”

Notably, even after battery swapping pioneer Better Place went bankrupt in late May,  Elon didn’t back down from the possibility of offering a battery swapping service. On a press call (not one of the top 7 quotations I shared from that call), Elon said that he didn’t see battery swapping as a particularly revolutionary idea — we do it with many other technologies, and it’s logical to consider it with EVs — and added that it’s something he has considered and noted as a possibility for many years. However, he noted that the key would be getting the economics of it right. We’ll see if the company decides to move beyond the demo stage.

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