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Patent filing reveals possible mobile battery-swapping stations for Tesla vehicles

Tesla Motors may soon revive its plans to offer battery swapping services using a new approach. This comes as the carmaker was discovered to have filed a patent months ago with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for a new technique in swapping batteries in its electric vehicles.

Unlike conventional vehicles or even fuel-cell units, electric cars -- like those offered by Tesla Motors – take at least 30 minutes through a supercharger to have their batteries charged considerably. A battery pack typically employs electrochemical cells to store and provide electricity to the vehicle system. Even Tesla admitted in its patent filing that the process of charging electrochemical cells usually takes some amount of time. On the other hand, refilling a conventional or a fuel cell vehicle takes at least five minutes.

To address such a gap between recharging and refilling times, Tesla had come up with an innovative yet simple solution – to swap the empty battery pack with a fully recharged unit. In concept, doing so would result to a fully recharged electric vehicle in a matter of minutes, instead of waiting for at least half an hour to recharge a battery pack up to 70 percent to 80 percent of its capacity. Tesla designed its vehicles so that an empty battery pack could be replaced with a completely charged one, thereby replenishing the vehicle’s power supply.

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