One of the biggest pain points associated 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 tank of gas.
Ample’s model is based on the idea that the fastest charging is the one you never have to do. Its next-generation battery-swapping station can change an electric vehicle’s battery in about five minutes. That’s half the time of Ample’s first generation station. The new stations are also larger than their predecessors, now allowing for delivery trucks. CNET was given a demo of the new station at one of Ample’s offices in San Francisco. Watch the video above to see how it works.
Battery swapping isn’t a new idea – 10 years ago this week, Tesla demonstrated its own battery swapping system. But that technology ultimately didn’t pay off, and EV manufacturers have since focused on more powerful and faster chargers.
Ample currently operates 12 first-generation exchange stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily 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.