LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors Inc., already adding a network of fast-charging stations for its luxury electric cars, is readying a service to rapidly swap a car's battery with a charged pack for added convenience.
The company announced last week plans for a June 20 press conference at its design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., to show "a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged faster than you could fill a gas tank."
CEO Elon Musk, in a Twitter post today, said the event would feature a "live pack swap" demonstration at 8 p.m. California time on June 20. "Seeing is believing."
The carmaker, which has about tripled in market value this year, is creating exclusive infrastructure for customers of its all-electric sedan priced from $69,900. Tesla's plans to offer battery-swapping capability for the Model S may fare better than a similar strategy by Better Place Inc., a provider of electric car services that filed for bankruptcy this year.
"One of the problems with the Better Place model for battery swapping was that it wasn't cheap," said Alan Baum, an automotive analyst at Baum & Associates in suburban Detroit. Tesla has higher-income buyers, who are "likely more willing to pay for a service like this that adds convenience."
Better Place offered charging services and battery swapping for an electric Renault SA model at stations in Israel and Denmark. Better Place filed a motion for liquidation with an Israeli court last month after failing to attract new investments, according to a company statement.
Tesla didn't provide details today on the battery swapping service. The carmaker named for inventor Nikola Tesla said last month it will triple the number of solar-powered supercharger stations by the end of June to allow its customers to drive cross-country.
Tesla shares have surged 202 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 15 percent increase for the Russell 1000 Index.