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‘There’s no modifications needed whatsoever to the diesel truck itself’

‘There’s no modifications needed whatsoever to the diesel truck itself’
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A tech startup is hoping to eliminate time constraints presented by long charging times on electric vehicle batteries using a familiar concept: battery swapping.

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Revoy, a California-based tech startup, has built “electric dollies” — fully integratable electric batteries that can turn diesel-powered semi-trucks into hybrid vehicles and extend battery life for electric semi-trucks, Tech Brew reported. 

Revoy can turn diesel-powered semis electric in just minutes, eliminating the need to buy a new truck to have cleaner transportation. How it works is that Revoy charges these dollies along truck routes, truckers drive them and then swap them out for recharge by Revoy. Truckers just have to pay for the miles they use — according to one of several possible payment plans — without upfront cost.

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“What’s really important is that it’s completely seamless,” Ian Rust, CEO of Revoy, told TechBrew. “There’s no modifications needed whatsoever to the diesel truck itself. Someone could have heard about it five minutes ago, and they can hook it up and instantly hit the road and run on drastically less diesel and way lower emissions.”

Revoy is launching two swap stations in Arkansas and Texas, with more planned. Right now, the Revoy EV system has a range of about 250 miles, which can cut diesel costs by about half, as Electrek reported.

“What we want to do with the swapping station network is … they show up at one of our stations, they hook it up, and it’s a net positive for them; they’re saving money on fuel, and that’s the end of the story,” Rust said, per Tech Brew. “It’s not this really complex decision around, ‘Do I replace my truck? Do I build charging infrastructure?’ It’s just a refueling decision.”

TruckInfo.net reports that there are 2.9 million semi-trucks registered in the United States, and according to the American Trucking Association, cited by CloudTrucks, trucking accounted for over 80% of freight cost in 2022 and $940 billion in revenue. It also created over 455 million U.S. tons of gas pollution that year, per Statista, contributing to rising global temperatures and more frequent and dangerous weather disasters like hurricanes.

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With its EV batteries, Revoy hopes to save trucking companies money and reduce reliance on gas-powered engines.

Other companies and startups across the globe are also looking into battery swapping technology. In China, NIO showed off their battery swapping technology in small EVs that could drive over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on one charge. A startup in Kenya also introduced battery swapping technology in motorbikes.

Different companies in the U.S. have begun switching to electric trucking in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Trucks Plan, aiming to reduce pollution. Amazon is building 50 new electric trucks with Volvo, while Walmart and PepsiCo. have been seen using the Tesla Semi. Even Urbaser, a waste management company, is upgrading to EVs with the help of Mercedes-Benz.

While the technology is fairly new in the U.S., the adoption of electric truck battery swaps could help cut costs without changing vehicles while the trucking industry adapts to an electric model.

“We can turn every single truck on the road today into a battery-swapping hybrid in under two minutes,” Rust told Tech Brew.

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