Charging has emerged as the primary way people keep their EV batteries full of juice while on the go, but some companies have an alternative in mind that they think could be even quicker than the fastest chargers today: battery swapping.
Today, a San Francisco–based startup called Ample demonstrated its new battery-swap system, which it says can exchange a depleted EV battery for a fresh one in five minutes.
Ample joins several other companies, past and present, with similar ideas. Battery swapping aims to match the convenience and speed of visiting a gas station, which proponents say could help strengthen the case for EVs by making it faster to replenish a car’s range. But some experts are skeptical, viewing battery swapping as an expensive solution that will at best serve a narrow niche within the future of electric transportation.