California-based EV brand Fisker has partnered with Ample to bring to market a version of the Ocean all-electric SUV that will be compatible with battery-swapping technology. The joint development between the two companies is already underway, with the goal of providing EVs with swappable battery packs by Q1 2024.
According to the official press release, the first customers for the Ample-powered Ocean EVs will be “fleet operators who are looking to transition to electric mobility without economic or operational compromises.” In other words, private customers won’t have access to this variant of the vehicle, at least in the beginning.
As reported back in 2021, Ample’s swappable battery packs are made out of multiple same-size modules which measure roughly the same as a shoebox. As opposed to the single-pack approach (like the one NIO is using), Ample’s strategy – which is apparently inspired by Lego blocks – allows basically any EV to receive a compatible battery that can be subsequently swapped for a freshly-charged one at a swap station.
Gallery: Ample Aims To Create A Battery Swapping System For All EVs
However, the modular packs aren’t exactly plug-and-play, as the receiving vehicle would have to be adapted or manufactured with this system in mind in the first place, which is what Fisker is planning to do.
“Our partnership with Ample will enable us to broaden the vehicle use case for our customers,” Henrik Fisker, Chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc. said. “We’re thrilled to offer Ample’s innovative battery-swapping system, which will bring a new level of affordability to the Fisker Ocean and potentially to the other vehicles we intend to bring to market in the future.”
The two companies will share revenue related to the battery swapping mechanism, which can supposedly change a discharged battery with a full one in less than ten minutes. The American automaker says that high-mileage drivers, such as those in the ride-hailing industry, would be a good fit for the Ocean EVs with swappable power sources.
“We’re incredibly excited about our relationship with Fisker. They’ve developed best-in-class EVs that our team is proud to support,” said Khaled Hassounah, Co-founder and CEO of Ample. “We’re looking forward to assisting with making the Fisker Ocean available to a wide segment of customers as a part of our goal to bring more EVs on the road.”
It’s an interesting approach that might finally bring this technology to a wider audience in the United States. For context, NIO has performed over 20 million battery swaps at its quick change stations in China and Europe, but in the US this approach has failed to take off.
As a reminder, the Fisker Ocean EV has been officially certified for sale in Europe, with deliveries scheduled to begin on the Old Continent on May 5. Moreover, the California-based carmaker estimates that it will deliver its first vehicles to the US later this year after the homologation process is completed.