Fiat 500e will get 5-minute charging with battery swapping trial


Public charging may be an EV dealbreaker, particularly for individuals who do not have dwelling charging.

However the world automaker Stellantis is engaged on quelling that motive for EV rejection with tech that may give you a full cost in lower than 5 minutes.

Beginning subsequent 12 months, a fleet of 100 Fiat 500e electrical minicars from guardian firm Stellantis’ Free2Move car-sharing service might be outfitted with modular battery–based mostly swapping tech from California-based Ample.

Free2Move primarily gives gasoline-powered Jeeps within the U.S., and it just lately exited from Portland, leaving its solely availability within the U.S. in Washington, D.C. The 500e check fleet is in Madrid, Spain, nevertheless. 

Jeep Renegade - Stellantis Free2Move car-sharing

Jeep Renegade – Stellantis Free2Move car-sharing

The purpose behind this check is to see how the tech works in Stellantis’ EVs in a high-utilization surroundings, and whether or not it could be used elsewhere on the earth, and elsewhere within the automaker’s lineup. That lineup will quickly embrace an unlimited array of EVs together with a Dodge electrical muscle automotive, a 500-mile Ram electrical truck, and a rugged Recon electrical off-roader.

The answer from Ample includes a modular pack that installs instead of the unique battery. Ample claims its tech will work with current automobiles with out having to reengineer the platform. 

2024 Fiat 500e

2024 Fiat 500e

Earlier EV installations for Ample have been totally on the Nissan Leaf, which is air-cooled. The 2024 Fiat 500e has a 42-kwh liquid-cooled pack, and even after this announcement it’s unclear how Ample plans to cope with that. 

Inexperienced Automotive Reviews has reached out for element—together with on whether or not the swapped-in 500e battery pack will match as much as the unique battery’s vary, rated at 149 miles by the EPA for the U.S. model.

Ample’s second-generation swapping tech was revealed earlier this 12 months, halving the swap time from ten to 5 minutes and redesigning the method round a “drive-through” format that makes it simpler for longer automobiles or tight environments. It claims these swap stations may be put in in as little as three days. 

Ample 2nd generation battery swapping station

Ample 2nd technology battery swapping station

The battery-swapping agency additionally factors out that the tech can doubtlessly prolong the lifespan of an EV, by updating the battery know-how by way of the car’s lifespan.

When it’s completed cheaply and effectively, EV battery swapping makes a whole lot of sense for apartment-dwellers who don’t have devoted charging, or for electrical taxis and supply automobiles that may’t be taken off the street for lengthy. 

Ample in July introduced a partnership with the Daimler Truck unit Mitsubishi Fuso. That challenge will goal to ship modular battery-swapping to electrical vehicles, with last-mile supply in thoughts. It begins this winter with a check on the Japan-market Fuso eCanter electrical van. Ample additionally earlier this 12 months acquired an almost $15 million grant from the California Vitality Fee for next-generation EV batteries which, the corporate says, additionally counts as a vote of confidence in its tech.

Ample battery swapping

Ample battery swapping

The historical past of battery swapping as a possible tech has been rocky. Almost 10 years in the past, after the demise of a much-hyped battery swapping agency known as Higher Place, Tesla examined Mannequin S battery swapping, at a single California station. However with the bodily and technically advanced course of, Tesla within the midst of its Supercharger community buildout, and typical Mannequin S drivers not quick on charging choices, the providing was quietly shelved.

Within the meantime, battery swapping has already turn into a actuality in China. The battery large CATL in April rolled out a battery swapping service known as Evogo, aimed toward these with out dwelling charging. Nio has turn into the chief for the know-how, with 2,200 swapping stations worldwide dealing with over 60,000 battery swaps per day. This previous week Geely, the guardian of Volvo and Polestar, partnered with Nio to co-develop requirements for personal vehicles and business automobiles—and to scale up the tech collectively. 


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