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Car-sharing startup Amber is teaming up with TNO for a joint feasibility study. With the help of the Dutch research institute, the Eindhoven-based startup hopes to determine if a fleet manager can organize the sharing schedule in such a way that battery lifespan is increased in the long run. That would allow Amber, and other car-sharing platforms, to offer vehicles that have the longest battery lifespan in the entire fleet, while also reducing operating costs of EVs.
Currently, availability, planning and battery charging levels determine the charging schedule and use of cars in a fleet. A customer is offered a vehicle that’s sufficiently charged for the ride at hand, leaving the age of the battery out of the equation. Both Amber and TNO want to see whether a sharing schedule that does take the battery’s age into account can contribute to increasing battery quality in the long run. This could also offer better estimates of battery value as it nears the end of a lease agreement and potentially make it possible to drive longer on a single battery pack. The battery of an electric vehicle represents a large part of the total cost, which in the case of Amber’s BMW I3s is about 20 percent.