American FreeWire Technologies is bringing its unique take on fast charging to Belgium and other European countries under its own name. Its chargers with integrated battery storage have the advantage that they can be rolled out quickly. Later this month, the company is opening its European Headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
As installing high-speed chargers is a cumbersome operation due to high investment (roughly 150 000 euros per station) and constraints for the power grid, FreeWire’s solution provides an interesting take on this challenge. Its 200 kW DC charger, called Boost Charger 200, is fed by a 160 kWh lithium-ion battery pack housed inside the pile.
3 200 kilometers of range
The Boost Charger is compatible with CCS and Chademo connections, though the latter is no longer used in Europe, and can charge two EVs.
It still draws energy from the grid, limited to 27 kW, compatible with low-voltage input. As it mainly depends on the integrated battery, the station can process twenty EVs daily. But these numbers vary depending on conditions like temperature, state of charge, and efficiency of the charging vehicles.
Calculations from FreeWire claim that each pile contains 3 200 kilometers of range. This more cost-effective infrastructure doesn’t require extensive installation labor or a high-voltage connection and is much easier on peak energy demand.
Intelligent management software guarantees DC charging capabilities with low-power grid connections. Though they look bulkier, FreeWire claims they have a five times smaller footprint than a conventional fast charging station.
A first for Temse?
Europe is no stranger to FreeWire. The service provider has already deployed Boost Chargers on the continent in collaboration with BP and AVIA in the Netherlands. The Spanish fuel station operator Otamar is also a client.
At a Belgian regional car dealership in Temse, Autolinck, one of FreeWire’s Boost Chargers was installed and will be available soon. According to Johan Bauwelinck, CEO of the dealership: “The installation of the Boost Charger itself was surprisingly simple and quick. Apart from the much shorter delivery time, the continuous low-power consumption, in particular, was appreciated by the local power company.”
Alternative to Ionity
The inauguration of a headquarters in Europe means FreeWire will roll out its network, next to mentioned partnerships, as a unique answer to the solutions from Ionity and Tesla’s Supercharger network.
As Europe has stipulated that it wants fast-charging stations every 60 kilometers under the AFIR ruling, the framework for a good business case for FreeWire seems in place.
The company opens its European office in Oxord on the 19th of April. The new location will feature a Sales & Demonstration Center and be the hub for the company’s European operations. Next to the Benelux region, the company will deploy the Boost Chargers in the UK, Ireland, Spain, and Italy.
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