The Fisker Ocean electric SUV will get swappable batteries from startup Ample by 2024, Fisker announced Tuesday. But the partnership will target fleets initially.
“With today’s announcement drivers can now look forward to a combination of award-winning design and affordability in the Fisker Ocean,” a company release said, “powered by the latest battery technology, never worrying about range or charging anxiety.”
California-based Ample hopes to succeed where many have failed by implementing large-scale EV battery swapping. Ample’s spin on the idea is a single modular battery design that the startup plans to adapt to different vehicles. Ample previously said its stations could complete a battery swap in 10 minutes.
Ample battery modules
Ample unveiled the modular battery architecture and battery-swapping stations in 2021, following what the startup said was seven years of development. Ample has so far been testing its battery swapping tech on Nissan Leafs in San Francisco, but it’s yet to be seen how the tech will work with a liquid-cooled vehicle like the Ocean. Fleet customers will find out first.
“The initial target customer for Fisker’s Ample-powered EVs will be fleet operators who are looking to transition to electric mobility without economic or operational compromises,” the release said. There was no mention of whether battery swapping would expand to retail customers, or of pricing for fleet customers, with Fisker only saying that it would share revenue from battery swapping with Ample.
Production of the Ocean started in Austria in November, but contract manufacturer Magna hasn’t picked up the pace yet. Fisker has already beat versions of the Model Y in range, with a 440-mile rating in Europe on the more lenient WLTP testing cycle. The Ocean hasn’t yet been rated for the U.S.
Ample battery swapping
Battery swapping was once seen as a holy grail of EV tech, but implementing it has proven tough. Tesla tried battery swapping nearly 10 years ago—kicking off a plan with the claim that its Model S pack could be swapped in about 90 seconds. After getting one station up and running, it scrapped the plan.
Chinese automaker Nio has found some success, building a network of swapping stations in its home market, with plans to expand to Europe along with the start of sales there. Battery supplier. CATL revealed a battery-swapping solution in China early last year, and rolled it out shortly afterward.