Back in May, Ample revealed that it had successfully let its swap station replace an electric car’s battery in five minutes. Now, the company has partnered with Mitsubishi Fuso to bring its battery swapping technology to electric trucks.
Ample’s technology equips electric vehicles with modular battery packs compatible with its battery swap stations. Instead of charging for hours at a public charging station, the driver pushes the car onto the platform, and the depleted module is automatically removed and replaced with a new one.
In Ample’s original design, this used to take 10 minutes, but the second generation station can do it in 5 minutes. The removed battery modules are absorbed into the battery pack at the station and recharged, ready for the arrival of the next customer.
Last-mile delivery companies clearly don’t want their fleet vehicles to stop running during extended charging periods, making Ample’s technology an attractive alternative.
To that end, Ample’s battery modules are being installed on a fleet of Fuso eCanter electric trucks in Japan, which will be deployed to companies later this year. Initially, the vehicles will have an estimated driving range of 62 to 200 miles (100 – 322 km), before drivers will need to drop into an oil change station for a “gas station-like experience”.
When the truck goes through the five-minute pit stop, it can be loaded and ready for the next delivery. While these ranges per exchange can already meet the logistics needs of many city centers, Ample reports that longer range options are being investigated.