Mitsubishi Fuso recently announced that it has signed an agreement with Ample Inc. to begin a collaboration on a pilot project on battery swapping technology for electric trucks in Japan.
The companies say they will collaborate to pair Mitsubishi Fuso EVs with Ample’s Modular Battery Swapping technology with an initial deployment based on the latest model of the all-electric Fuso eCanter for the Japanese market. The two companies will install an eCanter with modular batteries that can be automatically exchanged at Ample battery swapping stations in a target time of five minutes.
The press release noted that the test deployment will serve as an important resource in evaluating customer experience, scalability and potential for commercialization in the domestic market. The vehicle’s trial on public roads is scheduled for this winter in Japan.
With Ample’s technology, the process of exchanging eCanter battery modules inside a battery swapping station could take as little as five minutes, according to the companies. Although trucks with electric drivetrains are now among the most promising means of achieving carbon neutrality on the road, the press release states that many challenges remain, including reduced uptime due to charging needs. The press release notes that an electric light-duty truck typically requires around 10 hours with AC charging and a few hours with DC charging in Japan. This joint effort by Mitubishi Fuso 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.