Japan has long had a booming auto sector, home to some of the industry’s most influential carmakers and some of the first mass-market electric vehicles. To support the initial growing market for EVs, there was a race to deploy a large network of chargers around the country but it was quickly realized that long charging times and power limitation in Japan’s dense cities posed significant hurdles for electrification. 

We’re excited to bring the first battery swapping stations for EVs to Japan. Together with our partner ENEOS, we’re announcing the deployment of Ample Modular Battery Swapping stations in Kyoto, Japan. Given its pioneering role in driving the Kyoto Protocol that aims to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming, Kyoto makes for the perfect place to start.

These stations, which are our first deployment to have two drive-through swapping pods side-by-side, will be utilized by several fleet partners including MK Taxi, Kyoto City and Kyoto Prefecture, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, NTT An ode Energy, Nippon Life Insurance Company, Omron Field Engineering Corporation, Tokyo Century, Nippon Car Solutions, Tokyo R&D, and Asahi ETIC. Moreover, we’ll be announcing additional partners shortly

MK Taxi, one of the initial fleets to utilize Ample’s solution, is the largest taxi fleet in Kyoto and has a strong commitment to advancing electrification. When MK Taxi began their electrification journey years ago, they were quickly confronted with the hurdles of traditional EV charging. Due to the time required to charge, the challenge of deploying sufficient infrastructure, and the business and operational impact, MK Taxi embarked on exploring other avenues for electrification and found our solution to be a great fit. 

Proven by our existing work as Uber’s electrification partner, our modular battery-swapping technology is a scalable and affordable infrastructure solution to help ride-hailing fleets switch to EVs without major impacts on their operations. Our next-generation station design provides a full charge in just 5 minutes for any size EV ranging from a small passenger car to class 3 trucks. Our stations were intentionally designed to have a small footprint with modular pieces that can be installed in 3 days, making them a great fit for urban deployments in Japan.  

Japan has aggressive decarbonization goals to ban the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035 and we’re proud to be a part of their story in making that happen. With a focus on efficiency, urban density, and the ability to support the grid’s transition to renewable energy, modular battery swapping will be an effective solution. The successful implementation of battery swapping requires the coordination of OEMs, fleets, and municipalities working together and we’re excited to be witnessing a perfect example of that in Kyoto.

This is another important breakthrough in our mission to help get more EVs on the road across the globe and we’re energized to get started. Let’s do it, Japan!