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Bay Area Startup Looks to Change Way Electric Vehicles Charge Up

NBC Universal, Inc.

While cleaner-driving electric vehicles are catching on, they still take a lot longer to charge up than regular cars take to gas up. But now a Bay Area startup wants to change that by battery swapping.

Ample is a San Francisco startup that wants to give electric car owners an option other than charging stations that take hours to charge your car.

The battery swap takes about ten minutes.

"At the end of the day, our competition is gas,” said Khaled Hassouna, Ample CEO. “What we want to do is offer a solution as cheap, as fast, as convenient as gas."

And in another nod to the environment, it doesn't take up much space.

"We build small pieces of the system at the warehouse and put them together really easily," said development program manager Lindsay Stone.

But is battery-swapping, which is already being used by Uber, a viable way to stay on the road?

"Everyone is used to filling up your vehicle in less than 10 minutes,” said Anil Paryani, CEO of Amp

One energy manager says yes, at least, for now.

"Battery swapping is gonna play a key part in the interim, but with all the technology and advancements, we are gonna see ten-minute fast charging,” said Paryani.

There are currently five of these battery swapping stations around the Bay Area, Ample says it plans to build out more in the near future. 

Currently available to fleet and Uber drivers, they say in about a year and a half they'll open to the general EV-driving public.

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