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Fully charged battery in five minutes? The biggest problem facing EVs has been solved by the makers of Jeep and Fiat 

The battery swapping station drop in a fully charged battery within five minutes and can be built in less than three days

The answer to the problem of long electric car charging times may have been found and it's rather simple.

The solution comes from multinational auto giant Stellantis, which is home to 14 brands including Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Peugeot.

Rather than developing faster ways to charge, Stellantis has teamed up with battery maker Ample to build infrastructure and technology that will allow an electric vehicle’s battery to be swapped for a fully charged one in less than five minutes.

The program is currently in the trial phase and will begin in 2024 in Madrid, Spain.

The charging facility looks similar to a drive-through car wash and is about the same size.  

When the EV approaches the battery swapping station the system recognises the car, and the driver starts the battery swap through their phone app while parked.

The depleted battery is swapped for a fully charged one automatically in a process that takes less than five minutes.

Even the fastest chargers and most sophisticated batteries can take up to 45 minutes to get to full. Five minutes is approximately the same time it takes to fill up the tank of a regular petrol or diesel-powered car.

Ample’s module battery swapping technology is designed to be installed in any electric car but will be installed in the little Fiat 500e EV to begin.  

Stellantis runs a fleet of 100 500e EVs as part of its Free2Move car sharing service and these will be the guinea pigs in this trial.

"The partnership with Ample is another example of how Stellantis is exploring all avenues that enable freedom of mobility for our electric vehicle customers,” said Ricardo Stamatti, Stellantis Senior Vice President, Charging and Energy Business Unit. 

“In addition to other projects we are focused on, 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 program with our stellar Fiat 500e.”

Apart from being able to have a fully charged battery in less than five minutes another advantage of the battery swapping stations is that they can be built in just three days.