Stellantis to introduce battery swap stations from 2024

Stellantis will launch a network of battery swap stations that can fit a fully charged battery to an EV “in less than five minutes”.

The technology, developed by San Francisco-based Ample and backed by Vauxhall parent Stellantis, will be rolled out on a subscription basis and be introduced in Madrid, Spain, next year. Further sites will follow, although the brand is remaining tight-lipped on locations and timelines.

It will initially be available for only the electric Fiat 500 but the system will be expanded to accommodate every marque in the Stellantis stable, including Citroën, Peugeot, Jeep and Maserati.

It has been conceived to make gaining a fully charged battery “as fast and convenient as refuelling with gas”, according to Stellantis. Cars will be recognised on arrival, with drivers using an app to initiate the swapping process.

It follows a similar set-up by Chinese EV brand Nio, which has more than 1300 of its Power Swap Stations in service across its home nation, with a further 13 in several central European countries. Plans for the UK have previously been mooted.

For Stellantis’s tech, the swappable modular batteries have been designed as “drop-in replacements” for existing packs used by any electric car. It allows Stellantis to integrate its batteries without re-engineering platforms, saving cash. 

“Ample’s Modular Battery Swapping solution has the opportunity to offer our customers greater energy efficiency, outstanding performance and lower range anxiety. We are looking forward to executing the initial programme with our stellar Fiat 500e,” Stellantis senior vice president Ricardo Stamatti said.

According to Stellantis, the swap stations can be constructed and fully operational in “as little as three days”.

Ample CEO Khaled Hassounah said: “The combination of offering compelling electric vehicles that can also receive a full charge in less than five minutes will help remove the remaining impediments to electric vehicle adoption.”

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