Enough to bring an EV battery swap to a Mitsubishi truck in Japan

San Francisco startup Ample is bringing its modular electric vehicle battery swap technology to Mitsubishi Fuso electric trucks this winter, the company said Tuesday. This marks the first time Ample’s technology has been used for a large vehicle. The company’s technology is currently being used on a small scale for ride-hail vehicles in San Francisco and Madrid.

The partnership with Mitsubishi builds on Ample’s work with Japanese energy company Eneos to deploy fleet swap infrastructure to use. Enough won’t say how many exchange stations will be coming to Japan this winter, but it will be “more than one station” for the initial deployment in Kyoto.

Ample’s technology will go into the Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter, a light commercial truck. It’s unclear how many trucks will have Ample’s vehicle-agnostic battery, or which fleet partners have signed on. An Ample spokesperson told Zero2Billions that the initial fleet will be used for remote delivery.

The startup says its next-generation exchange station has improved on previous models and can change batteries in five minutes. With DC fast charging, it can take a car from 15 minutes to almost an hour to get a full charge.

Ample’s move in Japan comes after the company recently launched two stations in Madrid, and said it was in the process of deploying more. The company is working with Moove, a Madrid-based mobility fleet that provides ridesharing vehicles on the Uber platform. Quite recently received a €10 million grant from the Spanish government to help expand deployment.

EV battery swapping hasn’t gained much foothold in the US, where most of the innovation is geared toward charging stations. But in other parts of the world, such as China, battery swapping is becoming more popular. Beijing is supporting several companies advancing technology as part of its broader plan to ensure 25% of all cars sold by 2025 are electric.

Chinese EV maker Nio, for example, has built stations and started in March try a more efficient station type which can store up to 21 battery packs and swap in less than five minutes. Nio has a target of reaching 2,300 battery exchange stations globally by the end of 2023.

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