EV Cars

The Fiat 500e charges in 5 minutes with battery swap trial

Public charging can be one EV deal breakersespecially for those who don’t have a charging station at home.

But global automaker Stellantis is working to eliminate this reason for rejecting electric vehicles with technology that allows a full charge in less than five minutes.

Starting next year, a fleet of 100 Fiat 500e electric minicars, part of parent company Stellantis’ Free2Move car-sharing service, will be equipped with modular, battery-based swapping technology from California-based Ample.

Free2Move primarily offers gasoline-powered Jeeps in the US and recently exited Portland, leaving its only US availability in Washington, DC. However, the 500e test fleet is located in Madrid, Spain.

Jeep Renegade – Stellantis Free2Move car sharing

Jeep Renegade – Stellantis Free2Move car sharing

The purpose of this test is to see how the technology in Stellantis’ electric vehicles performs in a high-load environment and whether it could be used elsewhere in the world and elsewhere in the automaker’s product lineup. This range will soon include a wide range of electric vehicles including a Dodge electric muscle carA 500 mile ram electric truckand a robust one Electric off-roader Recon.

Ample’s solution consists of a modular package that is installed in place of the original battery. Ample claims its technology will work with existing vehicles without having to redevelop the platform.

2024 Fiat 500e

2024 Fiat 500e

Previous electrical installations for Ample were primarily in the air-cooled Nissan Leaf. The 2024 Fiat 500e features a 42kWh liquid-cooled package, and even with this announcement, it’s unclear how Amply plans to handle it.

Green Car Reports asked for details, including whether the replaced 500e battery can match the original battery’s range, which the EPA claims is 149 miles for the U.S. version.

Ample’s second-generation switching technology was unveiled earlier this year. It halves changeover time from ten to five minutes and designs the process around a “drive-through” layout, making it easier to use on longer vehicles or in tight spaces. It is claimed that these swap stations can be installed in just three days.

Generous 2nd generation battery changing station

Generous 2nd generation battery changing station

The battery swapping company also notes that the technology can potentially extend the life of an electric vehicle by updating battery technology throughout the life of the vehicle.

When done cost-effectively and efficiently, electric vehicle battery replacement makes a lot of sense for apartment dwellers who don’t have their own charging station, or for electric taxis and delivery vehicles that can’t be taken off the road for long periods of time.

Ample announced a partnership with Daimler truck unit Mitsubishi Fuso in July. The aim of this project is to provide modular battery replacement for electric trucks with last mile delivery in mind. This winter there will be a test with the electric van Fuso eCanter, which is available in Japan. Ample also received a nearly $15 million grant from the California Energy Commission earlier this year for next-generation electric vehicle batteries, which the company said was also seen as a vote of confidence in its technology.

Sufficient battery change

Sufficient battery change

The history of battery swapping as a potential technology has been rocky. Nearly 10 years ago, after the demise of a vaunted battery replacement company, she called Better placeTesla tested Changing the battery on the Model S, at a single California station. But since the process itself was quite complex, Tesla was in the middle of building out its Supercharger network at the time, and typical Model S drivers were hardly the sort who could get the most out of the idea, the idea was quietly shelved.

Battery replacement is now a reality in China. Battery giant CATL launched one in April Battery replacement service called Evogo, which is aimed at those who cannot charge at home. Nio has become a technology leader with 2,200 changing stations worldwide, handling over 60,000 battery changes per day. Last week, Geely, the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, teamed up with Nio to jointly develop standards for private and commercial vehicles – and expand the technology together.

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