- Ample: Californian start-up Ample introduced its battery swapping station, which reduces the time required to get an EV ready for driving to just five minutes – compared with the half an hour required by public fast chargers. Its modular battery packs can be integrated into EVs of any size and type.
When their batteries are empty, EV owners can park their vehicles at battery swapping stations and initiate a battery change through the Ample app. An automated device replaces the depleted battery pack with a fully charged one. Ample’s initial focus is on swapping stations for delivery vehicles and public transport.
- Nio: Chinese EV company Nio already offers battery swapping for its six EV models in China and Europe. Globally, 60% of Nio drivers use its Power Swap Stations, and in Norway, 95% of customers opt for battery swaps instead of traditional charging methods (Nio, 2023). Nio is creating 1,000 more battery swapping stations in China and another 70 in Europe this year.
- Forks in the Road: Despite their speed, building and maintaining swapping stations is costly (roughly double the cost of fast-charging EV stations), as Gil Tal, director of the Plug-In Hybrid and EV Research Center at the University of California, Davis, points out. Nio plans to charge a monthly fee to finance its swapping stations.