Ample, the battery swapping business for electric vehicle fleets, is now reportedly worth $1 billion after its latest funding from investors.
The company is reviving a business model that gained prominence (and a lot of cash) during the first wave of vehicle electrification. That business, known as Better Place, eventually went bust.
But time heals all wounds and the last decade's "bad" ideas could be this decade's billion dollar businesses.
Timing is everything. And with the push among ride-hailing services to transition their drivers over to electric vehicles -- and companies raising hundreds of millions of dollars to finance the electrification of fleets of vehicles -- Ample's timing is looking pretty good.
That's why it was able to attract cash from one of the biggest names in private equity..., Blackstone (a firm with over $640 billion in assets under management).
The money will be used to expand Ample's battery swapping partnership with Uber into Europe. Across the Atlantic, Uber's ride-hailing business is hoping to fully electrify its cars by 2030. And it wants to have half of its fleets in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Lisbon electrified by 2025.
But Uber is only one channel that the company is using to get its battery swapping services into commercial use. Ample is also working with the vehicle leasing and management company, Sally to expand into San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. An Asian expansion is also on the horizon through a collaboration with ENEOS in Japan.
Given the activity, it's no wonder that Reuters is reporting the company was able to command a $1 billion valuation.
These days fleet electrification, financing and management is a big new market for investors -- and a chance to bring the benefits of electrification to