FreeWire Mobi Charger Puts Nissan LEAF Batteries To Use In Mobile Charging Unit (w/video)


FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

The charging station business hasn’t even matured, yet start-up FreeWire wants to shake the whole business up.

Forget about stationary charging stations, now they can move and will come to charge your car autonomously. At least this is the FreeWire’s vision.

Everything begins with old Nissan LEAF battery modules (about 10 kWh total), which find a second life in a mobile energy storage system. FreeWire adds a J1772 EVSE interface and ends up with the Mobi Charger.

According to FreeWire, several such devices could serve electric cars in the parking lot without worries that a charging spot will be occupied by an ICE car or an already charged EV.

Ultimately, the Mobi Charger battery pack probably will be a few times larger (like 48 kWh) and offer DC charging too. When there is no need for charging, Mobi Charger may even become an ESS in smart grid system.

However, there is one big question. How much it will cost?

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

FreeWire Mobi Charger

Category: ChargingNissan

Tags: , ,

5 responses to "FreeWire Mobi Charger Puts Nissan LEAF Batteries To Use In Mobile Charging Unit (w/video)"
  1. 10 kWh hardly seems practical. The average Level 2 public charge session is just under an hour provide ~6 kWh of charge. While the mobi-charge doesn’t need to be attached to the grid while providing a charge, it will need to recharge between charging sessions.

    Not seeing a business model that offers value at a price-point to cover the investment in additional mobi hardware.

    Beyond the mobi-charger concept, I do see business models were battery storage adds value to charging sessions. These use cases tend to relate to DCFC to reducing demand billing related to high power peaks. Another use-case is with solar to slowly accumulate energy in storage, but allow DCFC to quickly charge a vehicle.

  2. QCO says:

    To answer Mark’s question, it has to cost a few thousand more than the battery pack.

    Interesting idea, perhaps more as an electron gas can device if employees need a bit more juice to get home.

    A cool improvement would be to couple it with Elon’s new automatic charging proboscis. It could autonomously go around and charge vehicles whilst everyone was at work.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    Another great use for Leaf Modules.

    They also make a great energy storage system for Solar as this inside EV’s article points out:

  4. Thanks for the great article, Mark! Please reach out to me, as I’d love to tell you more about our vision.

    Also, we’ve already released a 48kWh version with dual Level 2 (J1772) and Level 3 (CHAdeMO) output.

    Arcady Sosinov
    CEO, FreeWire Technologies, Inc.

  5. Keith Deininger says:

    Meh…. like Brian said 10kwh charging is hardly useable for a full recharge especially if you have someone that pull in with say less than half of the battery of a LEAF available, the portable device will not be able to recharge back to 100%, perhaps just 80%, clearly not a solution if you require a full battery to make it home.

    The portable device still has to be called upon to plug up to the car, this delivery will take time and must still be manually connected/disconnected to the vehicle, so you’re not saving any time there.

    How do you handle if a parking lot is say covered in ice or snow? If I pull into a charging parking space where there is a stationary charging device, I simply open my charging port, connect the charger and initiate a session. With the wheels on these portable devices they obviously would have difficulty navigating obstacles to get to the requesting individual. Not to mention, you’re going to be sitting in your car, in the cold, waiting for some mobile charger to show up.

    Then there’s also the time needed to RECHARGE the mobile chargers! The charging of the mobile chargers is not going to be any faster and will therefore take several hours to recharge to 100% capacity, even at 10kwh that would be more than 2 hours at 240v 32A input to the device. So where’s the saving there?

    With designated charging spaces, if designed PROPERLY from the start, one charging post of 2 or 4 systems could potentially support up to 4 or 8 spaces. Most daily recharging sessions are 2-3 hours typically. Most daily commutes for EV drivers are about 20-30 miles, so nearly ANY of the currently available EV’s (LEAF, MiEV, BMW i3, Smart EV, Volt, Focus EV, etc) are more than capable of making it to work from home and back on a single charge. I speak from experience as I own 2 2013 Nissan LEAFs and have a 46 mile daily RT commute, all on the interstate and all driving at 65mph+.

    EV etiquette of charger use, is you should only use a charger if you NEED a charge to make it to your next destination. People who leave their cars parked in a charging spot for longer than needed or once they are completely recharged should be fined, and many of the EV charger companies are now adopting this particular strategy. Up to 4 hours of charging time you pay say $1/hr, but at 4hr and 1min, the charge you are assessed now jumps to $20.00. The first time someone gets the “fine” they’ll tend not to do it again.

    DCQC devices you should not be connected to for more than 30 minutes as this will take a 24Kwh battery from 0-80% in this time. From 80%-full can take more than an hour more due to the reduction in charging amperage so as to avoid damage to the batteries, so where’s the advantage of a mobile CHAdeMO/SAE-CCS unit? Most people will use an L3 charger device for about 10-20m on average as this is all the time that is needed to reach back up to 80%, so Arcady you point of having a 48kwh portable device is a moot point. As a user you still have to MANUALLY disconnect the charging device, so by the time a user were to call upon a mobile charger, it come to the parking space where you are parked, you connect the device and start the session, I could have simply pulled into a space, plugged up, grabbed a quick cup of coffee at the charging station cafe and returned to my car and unplugged.

    For most workplace charging where an employees vehicle is MOST likely to remain parked from 8am until 5pm the most economical charging solution is to simply have 110V/15A dedicated outlets for those assigned parking spaces. In 8 hours of charging at 110V/15A will provide most daily EV drivers with the return energy needed to get home. For those older EV vehicles with 3.3kwh chargers this might not be a valid solution, but playing devils advocate here, these individuals should not have purchased an EV without knowing if they will have a reliable daily recharging source that would satisfy their needs.

    The cost associated with installing workplace charging is not as expensive as most people have been lead to believe. My wife works for one of the largest public utility companies in the USA and at her building alone there are more than 300 EV’s! They do however have more than 50 dedicated EV charging spaces, about 25 spaces are L1 (110v/15A) and then there are 20 L2 BLINK network chargers. Each charger can support 3 actual parking spaces. There is also 2 Level 3 CHAdeMO chargers too, but charging time is limited to 10min and drivers must stay with the vehicle while charging.

    Now here in lies the big difference with PUBLIC charging stations versus Employer provided charging stations…. EDUCATION.

    At GA Power, there is a written policy that ALL EV drivers must adhere to, of limiting your charging time on any device to no more than 4 hours. Most EV drivers they have found charge for about 2 hours and then move their cars to a standard parking space in the garage AND if there is a car parked in the adjacent space next to theirs with the charging port open, they will connect the charger to the waiting vehicle and notify the owner that their car is now charging (especially if it is a S model LEAF, no Carwings).

    No employee at GA Power has ever been stranded without a way to get home. Now before anyone says something about this being a power utility company and it’s cheap for them to install chargers, it still costs them the SAME amount for the device to be installed.

    Companies like ChargePoint or EVgoNRG have special workplace charging programs available where they will work with employers to install EV charging stations at their facility for very little cost and in return the vendor collects the fees for charging. No one ever said that EV charging was to be FREE. Sure it’s nice if an employer provides free EV charging to employees like Cisco and Siemens does at some of their facilities, but when you the consumer are paying to recharge and know that you can be penalized if you exceed your time, you’ll keep track of your car.