For their fast pack swap demonstration, Tesla swaps the battery out of two cars in the time it takes to fill up an Audi A8:
There are some inconsistencies here – you’ll notice the Audi has a 20 gallon tank, much bigger than a standard tank so it takes longer to fill, and he doesn’t mention that the Audi has twice the range of the Tesla on that fill up – but none of that should take away from the point: the battery swap takes up a trivial amount of time, and you’re more than able to take the car on long journeys, assuming there’s a Tesla station somewhere in range.
Musk mentions that customers get to choose between the superchargers, which will remain free, and this fast pack swap, which will be quick, but there’s no mention of cost.
Personally, I think a leasing model would go a long way – all owners can choose to enroll in a leasing program when they buy the car, at a discount to the price of the car. Tesla would continue to “own” the battery in the car, but owners would pay an appropriate fee for unlimited swaps – simultaneously eliminating concerns about range anxiety and long term maintenence of new drivetrains (they can get as many swaps as needed, and would never have to worry about needing to pay out of pocket for a new pack should the current one wear down in a few years).
Granted, it would be pricey, but I believe this would work.
Battery Swap | Tesla Motors