Shell Invests In “Electric Cars For Everyone”

AUG 7 2018 BY MARK KANE 13

Shell Ventures leads the $31 million series A investment round in “Electric Cars For Everyone” start-up

Charging Tesla

Shell Gas Station

Ample is a San Francisco-based startup co-founded by John de Souza and Khaled Hassounah. The company remains in stealth mode, which means that we don’t really know what the business idea looks like.

The brief description says: It aims to solve the energy delivery challenge for electric transportation by utilizing autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology. Ample has created an economical, rapidly deployable and widely accessible platform that delivers a full charge to any electric car in minutes. Ample aims to make it possible to have “Electric Cars for Everyone”.

It’s expected that Ample is working on some kind of battery boxes that will enable battery swapping (main purpose) or charging cars (secondary purpose). But how Ample intends to combine rapidly deployable, widely accessible and economical battery swapping remains unknown.

In the coming months, the company hints product deployment will occur at multiple locations.

For now, the $31 million series A financing round was led by Shell Ventures with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures, Repsol Energy Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and TRIREC.

Shell competitor BP, also invested in mobile charging company – FreeWire – this year (although not for battery swap), which makes us think that there is some business cases for such services.

From the press release:

“Ample, a technology company focused on solving the energy delivery challenge for electric cars, co-founded by Khaled Hassounah and John de Souza, announced today that it has closed a $31 million Series A round of financing. Shell Ventures led the investment round with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures, Repsol Energy Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and TRIREC. The financing will be used to deploy Ample’s technology in multiple locations over the coming months. Steve McGrath of Shell Ventures and James McIntyre of Moore Strategic Ventures will be joining Ample’s Board of Directors.

“Building a scalable solution for charging electric vehicles requires a new approach to infrastructure, and partners who are committed to developing electrification as the new energy downstream,” said Khaled Hassounah, CEO and co-founder of Ample.

Ample has invented an economical, rapidly deployable and widely accessible platform that delivers a full charge to any electric car in minutes. An alternative to traditional charging, Ample uses autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology, making it feasible for anyone to own an electric car regardless of driving needs, economic means, or geographic location.

“EVs in the light – and medium duty sectors are steadily gaining market share,” said Steve McGrath, Investment Director of Shell Ventures. “Combining Ample’s technology with Shell’s existing retail network for re-fueling and our growing position in power could help us achieve our aspirations to grow a large new business in EV energy solutions.”

“We have looked deeply into the electrification ecosystem,” said James McIntyre of Moore Strategic Ventures. “We believe Ample’s proprietary robotics and battery technology solution can help solve one of the largest constraints to wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles. We are excited to partner with the company, Shell Ventures and Repsol Ventures to help make Ample’s vision a reality.”

As governments in Europe, Asia, America and other parts of the world impose tough emissions targets to meet the global climate change commitment, Ample was born out of the need for innovation to rapidly meet those goals. “As an integrated energy company, we join the growth of the electrification in the mobility sector,” said Luís Casado from Repsol, “and we’re looking forward to Ample’s near-term solution to meet Europe’s goals.””

Source: venturebeat.com

Categories: General

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13 Comments on "Shell Invests In “Electric Cars For Everyone”"

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TM3x2 Chris

“It aims to solve the energy delivery challenge for electric transportation by utilizing autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology.”
I interpret it as flying battery drones that can reach stranded EV drivers.

antrik

Or maybe Tesla Towers for wireless power delivery through the ionosphere 😉

pjwood1

Black and White, long shadows, like the old GM EV1 ad. “EVs for everyone”, reeking of forced homogeneity.

What could possibly be the intent?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g7cgUm7o9k

John

That EV1 commercial wasn’t creepy at all..

Acevolt

They are probably gearing up to purchase Tesla!

Don Zenga

That’s why Tesla plans to go private.

Don Zenga

An electric vehicle should have a primary battery built into its structure and an additional mountable battery in the trunk or on the rooftop.

While the primary battery can only the charged, the mountable battery should be swapable / removable. So on long journeys, we should just mount the battery to cover the longer distance.
For the return trip, just swap that battery, reach home and give it back to the station that provided this battery.

This will benefit the vehicles with shorter range.

Kosh

Brilliant idea. But it would require them all to co-operate and standardize on the battery design. And they can’t even standardize on the damn plug right now……

Amy K

I was thinking the same thing, or similar, for older EVs. A swappable battery – but not as expensive as a whole $5,000 new Leaf battery is today – would do be great for extending the life of my 2012 Leaf.

I agree with Kosh that it would have to be designed in to the car rather than retrofit, but I can hope for something of the sort in 10 years.

Dav8or

I participate in an online owner’s survey for GM being an earlier Bolt owner. They sent out a questionnaire about this very subject just yesterday. Clearly GM is either thinking of getting into this mobile on demand charging business, or partnering with others. I think it’s an OK idea, but just depends on the particulars.

Chris O

The old battery swapping idea again? Bit late for that with 350Kw charging on the verge of being introduced. I could still see it as a convenient (if probably pricey) alternative for people who don’t have easy access to home charging though.

Brian

It seems like a better (both more efficient and cheaper) option would be to get everyone access to home charging. Installing ubiquitous L2 charging in public parking seems a lot cheaper than a nationwide network of battery swap stations. Plus the plug is already standardized. Batteries are anything but.

SJC

That amount is a drop in the bucket.