FreeWire Technologies, a battery startup that manufactures EV chargers and personal generators, has raised $25 million in its most recent round of venture debt financing. The round was led by BP, which has been an investors in FreeWire since an initial $5 million commitment in early 2018, and joined by new investors ABB Technology Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Energy Innovation Capital, among others.
The move provides significant capital to the startup, which was valued at $46.1 million in September, according to PitchBook data. The hope is that the funds can be used to help commercialize the company’s Boost Charger, as well as make their systems more widely commercially available in the United States, before expanding to Europe.
Since 2014, FreeWire has been making a name for itself in the EV charger and portable generation industry. The company is part of the LA Cleantech Incubator and the Energy Excelerator, where it was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Navy’s Office of Naval Research for a project in Hawaii. Since then, FreeWire has developed three products: the Boost Charger, Mobi EV Charger and Mobi Gen.
The Boost Charger is set to be FreeWire’s hallmark, delivering fast charging from a built-in 160 kWh battery with 120 kWh output. The remaining 40 kWh of capacity are used to lower stress on the local power grid. This allows the Boost to act as if it’s a Level 2 charger and enables it be rolled out at locations without having to worry about potential grid upgrades needed to install the system. Because of this, FreeWire asserts that the Boost is capable of reducing installation costs of up to 40%, in comparison to other fast chargers. The Boost is expected to hit the market in Q2 of this year.
Where the Boost boasts speed and installation savings, the name of the game for the Mobi EV Charger and Mobi Gen is mobility. The Mobi EV Charger is a dual-plug, portable, EV charging system that uses a drive system operated by a joystick for positioning. Also operated via a built-in drive and joystick control is the Mobi Gen, FreeWire’s 80 kWh mobile generator. The product is designed for construction sites, events and emergency response situations.
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“The Boost Charger is set to be FreeWire’s hallmark, delivering fast charging from a built-in 160 kWh battery with 120 kWh output. The remaining 40 kWh of capacity are used to lower stress on the local power grid. This allows the Boost to act as if it’s a Level 2 charger and enables it be rolled out at locations without having to worry about potential grid upgrades needed to install the system.”
I like that 160kWh battery storage capacity. There’s got to be a way to adapt this system to a solar PV home array and be able to use it to power most of the home’s needs every day. Keep doing these types of technology roll outs and costs will come down. There will be those who see another market and a revenue stream by using something like large energy storage in another capacity market than fast charge EV stations.
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