The $500,000 system works a lot like a car wash, with your vehicle placed on tracks while machines remove and replace your battery. (The raised platform is only in this prototype for demonstration effect.) And it could get you back on the road a lot faster than plugging into a wall.
Of course, there are several reasons why such a station isn't feasible within today's infrastructure—namely that different manufacturers have different shape/size/capacity standards. Also, manufacturers haven't really designed hybrid/electric cars to have their batteries constantly removed. Should these issues be ironed out, we could see a future in the battery swap station. But hopefully, we'll get a battery technology that charges faster before we rip up our entire fuel infrastructure. [Wired]