Battery swapping is here, and a new pilot announced will test the concept across the U.S.
Sally, a NYC-based startup supporting EV fleets, and Ample, a California-based startup focused on battery swapping, are working together to bring an electric mobility solution to rideshare, taxi, and last mile delivery drivers. The partnership brings with it a complete EV framework in major cities across the U.S., including San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
For the EV industry where recharging time is an oft-cited barrier, battery swapping or "battery-as-a-service" could be the solution, as a quick stop at a nearby station allows drivers to swap their depleted battery for a full one in minutes.
Years ago, Tesla announced a similar project, but the group seems to have sidelined the work in the U.S. However, battery swapping is a common practice already throughout China, and EV maker Nio is working to expand the service into Europe.
Now, stateside, Ample's service uses swapping stations to deliver energy to an EV in a few minutes and at a lower cost than the gasoline station equivalent. Sally and Ample's stand-alone facilities will feature swapping stations for drivers to quickly swap their vehicle battery, and a space for drivers to rest before getting back on the road. And, a network of swapping stations can be deployed across an entire city in just six weeks. The partnership hopes the service will allow drivers to make the transition to electric vehicles seamless.
Sally claims responsibility for the first yellow taxi EV fleet in New York City, and boasts a deep understanding of how to deploy electric vehicles at scale and support drivers in their transition to electric mobility.
"We believe strongly in delivering a solution that makes electric mobility commercially feasible," Ample's news release stated. "This commitment will allow us to deliver 100% electric miles right from the start in California. Our joint-approach creates a sustainable framework that will meet the changing environmental, commercial, and social needs of the transportation economy."