Mitsubishi Fuso, Ample embark on battery swapping pilot for e-trucks in Japan
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has announced its latest agreement with US-based startup Ample Inc. to begin a collaboration on a pilot project on battery swapping technology for electric trucks in Japan. The technology is expected to drastically improve vehicle uptime by reducing the time required for charging.
The automaker's latest light-duty electric truck Fuso 'eCanter' will be equipped with Ample's Modular Battery Swapping technology with an initial deployment in the Japanese market. The modular batteries can be easily exchanged at Ample battery swapping stations in a target time of five minutes, the partners claim.
The test deployment will serve as an important resource in evaluating customer experience, scalability and potential for commercialization in the domestic market, they add. The vehicle's trial on public roads is scheduled for this winter in Japan.
Ample claims that its innovative battery swapping solution is faster and more cost-effective for users than existing charging solutions. The company provides energy delivery as a service, and has focused on last-mile delivery, ride hailing, and car sharing use cases.
With Ample's patented technology, the process of exchanging eCanter battery modules inside a battery swapping station allow Mitsubishi Fuso to offer a commercial trucking solution that meets the needs of middle and last-mile delivery use cases.
On an overage, an electric light-duty truck typically requires around 10 hours with AC charging and a few hours with DC charging in Japan. The latest technology integration by MFTBC and Ample aims to circumvent this issue with exchangeable batteries, supporting vehicle uptime by delivering a full charge within minutes, and by extension, encouraging the transport industry's EV shift.