Ample Reveals off Its 2nd Technology Battery Swap Station

Ample, the EV battery swapping startup based mostly in California, lately launched its second-generation battery swap station and we had been invited to the occasion to test it out. 

The corporate has twelve of its first-generation battery swap stations working within the Bay Space and two in Madrid, Spain. I used to be instructed that the stations they’ve in California carry out tons of of battery swaps day by day in a pilot program with Ample’s accomplice Uber and have been in service since 2021.

Ample Aims To Spread A Battery Swapping System For All EVs

Ample’s co-founders, John de Souza and Khaled Hassounah in entrance of one of many firm’s first-generation battery swap stations. 

The second era battery swap station, launched on Could fifteenth, 2023, has just a few notable enhancements over gen-1. 

First, and maybe most essential, the brand new station is alleged to chop the battery swap time in half, from ten minutes to 5. One other large enchancment is the design. The brand new stations are pull-through layouts, permitting for simpler exit from the location after the battery swap has been made. 

Security has additionally been improved as a result of the second-gen stations permit the passengers to soundly enter and exit the automobile throughout the battery-swapping course of, one thing they can’t do with the primary model. That is doable as a result of the whole platform now lifts up for the swap as an alternative of solely the automobile. The primary era station lifted the automobile up by the wheels, and passengers could not safely get in or out throughout the course of. 

Ample battery swap second generation
Ample battery swap second generation

Ample’s 2nd-generation battery swap station includes a pull-through design

Ample has taken a distinct method than others at present providing battery swap providers. That is as a result of they do not swap out a single, massive battery pack. As a substitute, Ample swaps out particular person battery modules and might change the variety of modules it replaces for every swap. As an illustration, a buyer might solely want 30 kWh of battery for the work week however then desires a 90 kWh pack for longer drives on the weekends. 

Curiously, Ample says its battery swap structure permits the corporate to supply battery swap as an choice for any current and future EV, with out forcing the producer to reengineer its automobile. Personally, I have to have a greater understanding of how that can work earlier than I absolutely imagine it. As an illustration, how does the automobile’s battery thermal administration system combine into Ample’s battery pack and modules? 

The corporate additionally tells us it is at present in talks with 5 main automakers to supply a battery lease choice by Ample and that they are going to quickly have bulletins on that entrance. At the moment, solely Fisker has dedicated to providing Ample’s battery leasing and swap mannequin and can provide it to clients within the first quarter of 2024. 

Ample Aims To Spread A Battery Swapping System For All EVs

Ample’s swappable battery modules 

We have no info on what Ample plans to cost as a month-to-month leasing price, however there can be a number of choices based mostly on the scale of the pack and the time of day that the client desires the swap to happen. Prospects will not should pay upfront for the battery, which can imply the preliminary value of the automobile can be considerably much less. 

Personally, I can see how this may work effectively for fleets and car-sharing providers that want their automobiles to function for almost all of the day. However to ensure that battery swap to work for normal clients, the battery swap stations should be ubiquitous – and that might imply an infinite funding, seemingly within the billions. 

Ample’s battery swap stations are constructed within the firm’s California facility and are delivered to the location in three sections, permitting straightforward and fast setup. I used to be additionally instructed a single battery swap station solely requires a 100-kW electrical service, which is drastically much less electrical energy demand than a typical DC quick cost website. That may permit the corporate to arrange its stations rapidly with utility interconnect a lot much less difficult than it’s to put in a row of 350 kW DC quick chargers. 

Ample has introduced the primary set up of its 2nd-gen swap stations can be in Tokyo, Japan, and can occur in direction of the top of this yr. Additionally they have plans to put in a few dozen of them in Spain in addition to within the US. 

We’re within the strategy of arranging to have certainly one of Ample’s founders make an look on the InsideEVs podcast, which is recorded reside each Friday at 9:30 am Jap, So in the event you’re on this subject, tune into the present and put up your questions and feedback.