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EV Startup Launches Battery-Replacement Charging Network

A California-based startup has revealed an EV charging network where drivers will only need to spend 10 minutes to get fully charged battery, Business Insider reports.

The company, Ample, partnered with Uber on the project alongside private investors who collectively raised $70 million for the network. Currently, Ample has two charging stations in San Francisco, which service the Uber fleet of EVs.

Fast charging is a top priority for EV makers as it is one of the biggest reasons many drivers are still skeptical about electric cars. With a decades-old habit of filling up with gasoline or diesel in minutes, the idea of waiting for half an hour or more until the EV charges is hardly an appealing one.

Because of the importance of fast charging, it is an area of very active research, with scientists reporting promising results but mostly from the lab. A year ago, for example, a team from the Center for Energy Storage Research at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology said they had developed a new anode material that could increase an EV’s range twice and shorten charging times to just five minutes or so.

Amole, however, has taken a very different route: the company does not offer charging up your battery in minutes. What it does offer is a replacement battery, fully charged, while you leave the empty one at the station to be recharged. What’s more, Business Insider reports, the system is autonomous, and drivers will not even need to get out of the car to get the full battery.

Plans for the future include setting up several more stations in different California cities, in line with the state’s plans to add some 28,000 EV charging stations in the coming years. This is part of efforts to reduce emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels, chiefly by replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with EVs. The state has a target of as many as 5 million electric cars by 2030.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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