One of the biggest pain points that comes with driving an electric vehicle is the time it takes to charge the battery. Startup Ample’s new technology can give drivers a full charge in about the same time it takes to fill a gas tank.
Ample’s model runs on the idea that the fastest charge is the one you never have to do. Its next-generation battery-swapping station can replace the battery on an electric vehicle in about five minutes. That’s half the time of Ample’s first-gen station. The new stations are also larger than their predecessors, now allowing for delivery trucks. CNET was given a demonstration of the new station at one of Ample’s San Francisco offices. Watch the video above to see how it works.
Battery swapping is not a new idea — 10 years ago this week, Tesla demonstrated its own battery-swapping system. But that technology ultimately came to nothing and EV makers have since focused on higher-powered, faster chargers instead.
Ample currently operates 12 first-generation swapping stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, mainly serving Uber delivery vehicles. The company expects to launch its next-generation station in the US, as well as Japan and Spain, later this year.