Solar News August 20th 2021

Solar news: August 20th, 2021

In this week’s news round-up, we discuss a new startup company looking to innovate electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, as well as an updated projection on the country’s energy future from the federal government. 

Battery startup raises $160 million to fund battery swapping stations

Ample, a San Francisco based battery startup company, recently raised $160 million in their most recent Series C funding round. Investors included companies like Shell Ventures and Eienos, as well as several other major energy companies. Ample aims to compete with EV charging stations by building battery swap infrastructure in an effort to make powering EVs cheaper and faster. 

Previous startups with this idea have run into challenges due to the weight and variability in EV batteries between models. Ample’s solution is to design a battery adaptor that will fit with many common EV battery layouts. The co-founders say that using their technology, replacing a depleted battery with a fully charged one could be as simple as changing a tire. 

Department of Energy memo indicates solar could power 40 percent of US energy usage by 2035

A recent memo sent out by the Department of Energy (DOE) stated that with continued investment into the solar industry, solar energy could grow to 40 percent of all electricity production in the United States. Although the solar industry has grown at unprecedented levels despite the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to reach 40 percent of US energy production by 2035, growth rates would need to accelerate to at least three times their current rate. The memo discussed extending tax credits, improving transmission infrastructure, continuing industry innovation, and increasing community solar capacity around the country as ways to reach higher industry growth rates.