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Tesla system will swap a Model S battery in 90 seconds – Autoweek

“This is the title fight,” said Elon Musk, in typical brashness. “This is battery-powered versus gasoline.”

The Tesla CEO preached this to a crowd of Tesla owners and supporters while formally confirming the company’s worst-kept secret: the fact that the Model S sedan’s batteries were designed from the beginning to be swapped out. The system Tesla envisioned has plenty of ambitious, techno-wizardry automation, with a focus on as much convenience as possible: The Model S will drive over a pit containing machinery which automatically changes the battery from underneath in approximately 90 seconds — and the driver doesn’t even have to get out of the car.

Remember, this is the same company that built a network to charge cars for free. Next door, they’re building rockets. As impressive as Tesla’s Supercharger network is — available from here to Folsom, Boston to DC, and points between coming soon — it still takes 20 minutes at best to charge up a Model S. Some people just don’t have time for that. That’s why the swappable battery pack was designed into the Model S from its inception.

Future Tesla models will all use the same form factor, even if internal changes will wring out even more energy and range — making the next generation of Tesla cars backwards-compatible. Each battery pack will carry a warranty of eight years.

The first Tesla stations with automated battery-swapping pits will launch by the end of this year on California’s Interstate 5. Once a Model S drives onto a pit at such a station, robotized nut drivers are programmed to find the bolts holding the underslung battery pack in place. Because the battery is liquid-cooled, the pit uses automatic liquid disconnects to prevent spilling. Arms lower the old battery, jettison it underneath, then descend underground to grab a fresh new battery. When it is installed onto the Model S, the nut drivers will torque the bolts precisely to factory spec.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130621/carnews/130629975#ixzz2WxUAgQ9m
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More http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130621/CARNEWS/130629975

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