Stellantis and Ample associate on EV battery swapping



Stellantis is partnering with California-based startup Ample on EV battery swapping, probably permitting EVs to swap depleted battery packs for absolutely charged ones in only a few minutes.

On Thursday, the 2 corporations introduced a binding settlement to combine Ample’s battery-swapping tech into Stellantis EVs. That can begin with a fleet of 100 Fiat 500e hatchbacks that will likely be deployed by Stellantis’ Free2Move car-sharing service in Madrid in 2024. Ample at the moment has 4 battery-swapping stations within the Spanish capital, with an extra 9 deliberate, CEO Khaled Hassounah advised Digital Developments and different media in a digital roundtable. Additional plans weren’t mentioned, however it’s price noting that the 500e is coming to the U.S. in 2024 as effectively, and Free2Move is already lively in just a few U.S. cities.

Based in 2014, Ample goals to succeed the place quite a few previous battery-swapping providers failed. It goals to try this with small battery modules that change a car’s unique battery pack with none reengineering of the car construction and swapping stations that may be deployed in as little as three days, Ample claims. As soon as parked at a station, the motive force initiates a swap by way of an app, and the car will get a brand new battery in lower than 5 minutes. Present autos can’t be retrofitted with Ample’s battery modules, although.

Ample has primarily labored with fleet operations up to now, making use of its tech to Nissan Leafs for Uber in San Francisco, in addition to Fuso eCanter business vans. These purposes, together with the Free2Move car-sharing service, are seemingly a better match for a service that requires EVs to make use of devoted batteries. Nonetheless, Fisker additionally introduced earlier this yr that its Ocean electrical SUV would get swappable batteries from Ample in 2024, seemingly for retail prospects. Stellantis can be contemplating providing battery swapping to its retail prospects, seemingly beginning with the 500e, Ricardo Stamatti-Avila, senior vice chairman of Stellantis’ charging and vitality enterprise unit, stated.

Battery swapping guarantees the identical comfort as filling up a automotive with gasoline, however it’s confirmed difficult to execute. Simply over a decade in the past, one other startup referred to as Higher Place crumbled after attempting to launch a battery-swapping service in Israel. Tesla additionally tried and rapidly rejected the concept after constructing only one swapping station. Ample’s method is a bit completely different in that its stations swap out battery modules one after the other relatively than the battery pack as an entire. This implies the stations are easier to put in, and the tech may be tailored to completely different autos extra simply, the startup claims.

Different corporations are nonetheless pursuing the concept, although. Chinese language automaker Nio has a big battery-swapping community in its dwelling market, and it’s now increasing to Europe. Final yr, battery maker CATL launched its personal battery-swapping service referred to as Evogo.

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