FreeWire Procures Financial Investment to Develop its Ultrafast Charging Technologies
FreeWire Technologies receives financial backing from BP Ventures, ABB Technology Ventures, and Energy Innovation Capital.
With climate change and the rise in resource depletion being current challenges facing the world today, there is a growing need to acquire more sustainable methods of living.
Transportation is one component of human existence that produces a significant amount of greenhouse gasses that enhance the effect of global warming. Although transportation systems are largely dependent on fossil fuels, innovative companies like Tesla are cutting a pathway through the bedrock of convention by adopting electric power in vehicle designs.
FreeWire Technologies, a start-up based in California, is another pioneer of electrification. The company provides advanced battery systems for electrical vehicle (EV) charging and mobile power applications. Recently, FreeWire announced the procurement of $25 million Series B and venture debt financing.
The FreeWire Boost Charger. Image courtesy of FreeWire Technologies
Investing in FreeWire
BP Ventures, along with new investors ABB Technology Ventures, and Energy Innovation Capital are the companies behind the financing. Support from these companies highlights a collective drive to push forward energy-efficient, green technologies into the market in 2020. In addition to FreeWire’s technologies being more environmentally sustainable, they are able to meet customer needs as well as reduce the costs to the grid infrastructure.
In 2018 BP invested $5 million in FreeWire to trial FreeWire’s mobile charger technology at selected retail sites in the UK and Europe. This year, BP backed FreeWire with further investment.
In a recent news release, global managing director of BP Ventures, David Gilmour said that he sees FreeWire “as a key contributor to our strategy of diversifying our energy portfolio and helping ensure we are well-positioned to meet future demand”.
BP aims to remain a leader in the energy sector and has made several investments in areas including low-carbon power, storage, the digital energy value chain, and energy-as-a-service. Electrical Vehicles another prominent area of investment for BP, which obviates their move to back FreeWire this year.
The FreeWire Boost Charger
In late 2019, FreeWire introduced its latest technological development, the Boost Charger. This charger exhibits super-fast charging with the ability to charge a vehicle in 15 minutes.
Additionally, the charger can run at low power and is able to run with a low voltage grid infrastructure. Putting less pressure on the grid for power supply allows the device to be deployed quickly and at a lower cost (up to 40% less for installation) compared to other fast chargers.
FreeWire Boost Charger Ultrafast Charging. Image used courtesy of FreeWire Technologies
FreeWire’s charger offers customers a 160kWh of battery capacity and 120Kw output. The battery utilizes lithium-ion energy storage and market-leading, high-density silicon carbide technology. It comes with an Activity Management Platform (AMP), which allows users to see charger status and usage. The easy-to-use platform is also useful for the regulation of power delivery between utilities, admin, and customers. Chargers can be tracked and deployed by businesses in real-time.
Another useful feature of the technology is that it can be powered from a single-phase connection. Charging bills from EVs can be reduced by 50% using in-built energy buffering technology.
Industry trends point toward automated vehicles becoming electric, which means that technologies like those coming from FreeWire are likely to be adopted rapidly by the market.
At present, car sales in the US are quite low for EVs (2%), whereas in other areas of the world such as Norway, a reasonably high percentage of car sales were recorded as plug-in or plug-in hybrids. Companies like Volvo, Ford, and Tesla are all moving boldly into the electrification space and FreeWire will be primed to support EV adoption with their leading technologies.