San Francisco-based Ample has brought electric vehicle battery replacements to the United States. The company was in stealth mode for seven years before its recent launch. With five changing stations in the Bay Area, local Uber drivers are Ample’s first customers.
The concept is not new. A startup called Better Place launched an EV and battery exchange company after raising $850 million, but ultimately went bankrupt in 2013. Tesla also demonstrated a battery swap in 2013, but opened only one station as the “EVs and Battery Exchange”;. About a year later, Elon Musk said Tesla owners were not interested in it.
Battery swaps are now common in China. For example, electric car maker Nio plans to double its network of swap stations to 500 this year and plans to open a station in Norway as part of its expansion. Europe
Ample has a different approach. With a modular battery and vehicle focus, CNBC delves into its San Francisco headquarters and battery factory. to learn how the company plans to bring battery replacements to the mainstream.