FreeWire Technologies Inc., San Leandro, California, a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging and power solutions, has announced that the company has been awarded a $3,468,490 grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to advance its next-generation EV charging product, Boost Charger™.
The grant resulted from CEC’s competitive solicitation titled “BRIDGE 2020: Bringing Rapid Innovation Development to Green Energy” to fund continued technology development, demonstration and deployment for the most promising energy technologies. FreeWire will utilize the grant to further advance grid services functionality of the company’s Boost Charger and demonstrate enhanced ultrafast charging with energy storage at two project sites, including one in an under-resourced community.
FreeWire’s Boost Charger integrates battery storage with advanced communication and control technologies and power electronics to provide an ultra-fast EV charging technology product that will streamline installation of DC Fast Chargers, respond to grid conditions, and provide power for EV drivers during grid outages.
The grant will provide add-on funding to support and accelerate the design, engineering, and demonstration of FreeWire’s advanced, storage- and grid-integrated EV fast charger. Further advancements in the Boost Charger system will provide key resiliency benefits to EV users and ratepayers that include renewables load balancing, battery-based charging capacity even when the grid goes down, microgrid storage and backup, reduced grid congestion, reduced demand charges, reduced infrastructure requirements, and other grid and resiliency services. Boost Charger’s expanded grid service offerings create resiliency for charging applications, allowing electric fleets to recharge and supporting other critical facilities such as gas stations when power is out.
“We are pleased to receive this CEC grant which will support FreeWire’s ongoing technological advancements and breakthroughs to overcome barriers to achieving California’s energy goals by adding new grid-oriented and resiliency services to our Boost Charger EV charger systems,” said Arcady Sosinov, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FreeWire Technologies. “With the growth of EVs and charging demand, reliability concerns have risen to the forefront as California’s utilities and grid managers work to balance electricity load and supply. Our CEC grant will support new advancements to our Boost Charger technology that will facilitate the rapid scale up of ultra-fast EV charging, delivering high power everywhere without expensive and burdensome grid upgrades.”
The project will specifically add the following advancements to FreeWire’s Boost Charger: 1) Resilient EV charging even when grid power is unavailable;
2) Backup supply to power on-site loads as a microgrid;
3) On-site power demand management to reduce the overall energy costs for a Site Host; 4) Direct integration with on-site renewable sources, such as solar, to increase the efficiency of the solar plus storage system and reduce its total cost;
5) Bi-directional power flow to support charger-to-grid power flow; and
6) Utility integration to support demand response, grid load balancing and other grid services.
FreeWire’s Boost Charger is a powerful battery-integrated electric vehicle charger that delivers high power while significantly reducing demand charges. Easy to connect with existing infrastructure, it can be set up without costly construction or extensive permitting. Boost Charger enables ultrafast charging using the same infrastructure as Level 2 chargers at up to a 40% lower cost of installation versus other fast chargers. With its integrated storage and ultrafast charging speeds, Boost Charger is ready for current and next-generation EVs.
About FreeWire Technologies
FreeWire’s turnkey power solutions deliver energy whenever and wherever it’s needed for reliable electrification beyond the grid. With scalable clean power that moves to meet demand, FreeWire customers can tackle new applications and deploy new business models without the complexity of upgrading traditional energy infrastructure.
FreeWire has deployed over 200 battery-integrated chargers with Fortune 100 companies, commercial customers, fleets, retail locations, and gas stations. In December 2020, FreeWire and bp pulse, one of the UK’s leading providers of EV charging infrastructure, announced an exclusive MOU for bp pulse to deploy Boost Charger in its operations across the UK. FreeWire and ampm, a bp subsidiary and convenience store chain with over 1,000 locations, have already deployed multiple public charging stations in the U.S.
In January 2021, FreeWire announced a $50 million Series C funding round, led by Riverstone Holdings, with participation from current shareholders bp ventures, Energy Innovation Capital, and Blue Bear Capital. This financing will enable FreeWire to accelerate international market expansion of Boost Charger and expand production capacity to meet unprecedented customer demand.