The American startup Ample opened three autonomous stations for battery change of electric vehicles this week. Accessible to all models, the process takes just 10 minutes.
Without the need for the driver to get out of the car, the exchange is carried out with the help of robots. When they connect to the station via a mobile app, they get under the car and replace the dead battery with a fully charged one.
The station developed by Ample can be installed anywhere near a power source. In addition, its mobile structure does not require drilling the pavement or other permanent construction for operation.
The recharge area occupies two parking spaces. In addition to housing the robots that perform battery changes, inside there is a place for the storage and loading of spare parts.
When carrying out the process in 10 minutes, the Ample project proves to be more efficient than a “plug-in” station, especially the fastest ones. This is because the structure can charge the batteries during off-peak hours, when the energy demand is low.
For a quick comparison, fast-charging plug-in stations often have long lines at peak times. In addition, the process of recharging an empty battery to reach 80% charge lasts an average of 30 minutes.
Model inspired by China
Although it seems strange, the “charge” for changing batteries in electric cars is quite common in China. In addition to the 452 stations similar to the Ample project spread across the country, the government has promised to build new areas in its infrastructure plan.
In addition, the market consultancy P&S Intelligence found that models that are charged by battery change have a 25% longer life than those directly connected. Factor that encourages many drivers to adopt this practice.