Amply Power Unveils Shipping Containers for Cheaper, Portable EV Charging

Electric vehicle charging services provider Amply Power unveiled a semi-permanent yet portable charging solution called Inrush on Friday. Inrush uses repurposed shipping containers to hold multiple EV charging stations.

Located in Disney's Toy Story parking lot in Anaheim, California, Anaheim Transportation Network is the first Inrush customer. The project will consist of two shipping containers, each housing five charging stations, allowing 10 electric buses to charge at once. Two 200kW chargers and eight 80kW chargers will supply enough power to support a fleet of 46 electric buses.

Benefits of this container charging solution include:

  • 50% less expensive than conventional EV charging solutions for design, procurement, and installation.
  • 50% faster setup – a roughly six-month setup time from start to finish.
  • Location flexibility for companies that lease or want a portable charging option.

Potential for EV Fleets

Though the first Inrush project is geared towards electric buses, Amply CEO and co-founder Vic Shao told FreightWaves that it would be useful for the freight industry as well.

"Amply's Inrush solution is ideal for operators who are unable to install permanent infrastructure on a site, whether because of lease agreements, ongoing site transformation or other reasons," Shao said. 

"Inrush allows customers to utilize semi-permanent, portable charging to account for unpredictable changes in operations, offering fleet operators the ability to charge EVs from any location with suitable utility power capacity. This means operators have more control over where and when their fleets are charged."

Shao explained the idea to use shipping containers for portable EV charging came to him because he noticed a major barrier to EV adoption and infrastructure. Many fleets have issues identifying permanent locations for EV charging stations, especially those that lease land rather than own it, he said.

"Flexibility is key when talking about fleet transition and EV charging," said Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves. "The majority of fleet EV solutions today are not plug-and-play but require support from utilities, grant writers, municipalities, etc. That's why Amply's Inrush solution is so brilliant. 

"Amply has found a way to deliver the entire charging value proposition in a box and serve as a single solution provider to bridge the gap to more permanent installations."

Read: Report: Batteries usually more feasible, environmentally beneficial than green hydrogen

Shao said that site restoration is minimal when a shipping container charger is moved because most of the equipment is located within the container, which is built with transport in mind.

"Shipping containers are a logical choice due to their appropriate size to house all the electrical switchgear needed to support the charging stations, and can be moved in a similar way to how shipping containers with goods inside move," Shao said.

When asked how the shipping container shortage was impacting supply for this charging solution, Shao replied "the shortage isn't impacting" Amply because it needs so few containers and has built up a supply using existing company relationships.

In terms of other supply chain issues, he said Amply begins procurement steps early in the process to avoid timeline issues. Relationships with EV supply equipment providers help streamline supply as well, Shao noted.

"We see Inrush as a way to bring all the benefits of electrification and managed to charge to fleets that have been previously barred from making the transition due to time and/or facility constraints," Shao said.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay

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