Stellantis is working with battery swapping vendor Ample to develop a vehicle battery system that swaps a depleted electric vehicle (EV) battery with a fully charged unit.
Under a new binding agreement, Ample’s modular battery swapping technology will be used in Stellantis’ EVs. The companies are also in discussion regarding the expansion of the battery swapping technology for Stellantis’ fleet and consumer demand across other platforms and geographies.
The technology allows an EV user that stops at a battery swapping station to have a depleted EV battery swapped out for a fully charged battery in under five minutes.
The initial steps
According to the companies, the first program will start in Madrid, Spain, in 2024 using a fleet of 100 Fiat 500e's that are in Stellantis’ Free2move car sharing service.
Stellantis said the battery swapping system is another avenue toward EV recharging that the company is pursuing as it transitions its entire fleet to all electric. The company said the battery swapping system provides energy efficiency and will help decrease range anxiety while simultaneously providing EVs with a fresh battery.
Designed as an alternative way to deliver energy to EVs in a quicker way than a typical recharge station, battery swapping is designed to be as fast as refueling with gasoline.
The lightweight battery swapping stations can be deployed in public areas in about three days. When a compatible EV approaches an Ample station, the vehicle is recognized by the station. It then parks inside and the driver initiates the battery swap through a mobile app. This delivers a fully charged EV battery to the car in less than five minutes.
The batteries are drop-in replacements for the original battery made possible through the modular infrastructure that is designed to fit into any EV. Stellantis said it will be able to integrate Ample’s technology without re-engineering its vehicle platforms.