EV battery swap coming to last mile delivery fleets

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by Emily Atkins

Charging electric last mile delivery vehicles is one of the hurdles that companies wanting to employ the low-emissions trucks and vans must address.

One solution that has been suggested is battery swapping. A few companies have been marketing this idea, but Ample, a California-based start-up, is now working on a solution that will allow light truck batteries to be swapped.

The company is working with Mitsubishi Fuso, part of Daimler Truck, to roll out a battery swapping solution for the eCanter, a light truck commonly used in Asia. Ample will be rolling out the modular battery system for the eCanter in Japan this winter.

The eCanter will initially provide a range from 100 to 320 kilometres.

Ample’s swapping stations will offer last-mile delivery trucks a gas-station-like experience where electric trucks can get a full charge in five minutes by changing out a depleted battery for a full one.

The stations are drive-through, meaning the driver doesn’t need to back out of the station at the end of a swap. And while a truck is being swapped, it can be loaded and unloaded.

All this adds up to better efficiency and more on-road time, Ample said.

“We’re delighted to partner with Mitsubishi Fuso who is pushing the industry towards sustainability including its ambitious goal to build a completely carbon-neutral product portfolio in Japan by 2039,” Ample said in a blog post.

“We’re also thrilled to be working with such an innovative and strategic partner with whom we can accelerate electrifying the last-mile delivery sector.”