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Watch Tesla's 90-second electric vehicle battery swap demonstration

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Tesla is planning to introduce battery-swapping at electric vehicle Supercharger stations as early as this year.

Demonstrated in Los Angeles on Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed how the firm's battery-swapping stations give consumers the option of swapping flat lithium-ion batteries for fully-charged ones in less time than it takes to fill a car with gas.

Swapping a depleted battery on a Model S sedan in just over 90 seconds, the Tesla chief showed it is possible for EVs to be back on the road more quickly than traditional, fossil-fuel cars. During the demo, a Model S was pulled over a hole while the driver remained in the vehicle while a machine set to work disconnecting the battery and replacing it with a battery on full charge.

Two models were given fresh sets of batteries in the time it took a Tesla employee to fill up an empty gas tank.

The CEO commented:

"I think it's important for us to address the reasons people are not buying electric cars. People need to feel they have the same level of freedom they have with gasoline cars. If they need to get somewhere in a hurry, they can do that. In fact, they can get there faster."

Musk said battery-swapping services may be introduced as early as this year in California, Boston and Washington DC at each Supercharger station. In the beginning, each station will have approximately 50 batteries on hand.

Read More: Forbes

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— By on June 20, 2013, 7:37 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure