Some of you probably remember FreeWire's Mobi Charger concept, presented in the early stage of development over six months ago.
FreeWire now has working prototypes of Mobi Charger and Siemens as a partner. Together hey are launching a three-month pilot project at LinkedIn’s Mountain View campus.
The Mobi Charger is a mobile charging point with two Level 2 AC plugs (but can be equipped with DC charger too) and its own energy source in the form of second-life EV batteries (we believe from Nissan LEAFs), up to 48 kWh according to the website.
The whole concept relies on parking EVs anywhere in the parking lot and using a smartphone app to note charging need. Then, someone from the parking lot staff will come with Mobi Chargers and charge the cars. At least that's how we understand it from the video below.
There are obvious benefits - you can park anywhere and still charge the EVs and there are no costs of installation for several charging points. Though both Mobi Charger with own battery pack, and staff to move the box around will cost quite a bit, so we're not sure of the feasibility.
"FreeWire Technologies, Inc. and Siemens are partnering to pilot and commercialize the Mobi Charger™, employing the Siemens eCar Operation Center (OC) and the Siemens VersiCharge electric vehicle-charging technology. Mobi Charger turns traditional charging on its head and rolls the charger to the vehicles, regardless of where they are parked in the lot. The integrated system enables businesses to easily offer mobile EV-charging, cost-efficiently powered by second-life EV batteries, and intelligently interconnected to the Internet and electricity grid."
"Siemens has chosen FreeWire to be the first partner in the U.S. to deploy its eCar Operation Center, a cloud interface built from the ground up to manage large-scale EV charging. The system is already in wide-spread operation by several of the world’s largest utilities, enabling them to use EV charging as a resource to support grid stability, and distribution networks across Europe.
Current EV-charging options usually require high infrastructure investment costs plus the delay and hassles of planning and permitting, challenges that may be further complicated by being on leased commercial property. Using Mobi Charger, businesses would be able to rapidly scale-up to meet demand for charging availability, while gaining a flexible, distributed-energy asset they can use to efficiently manage energy usage and costs."
"Mobi Charger presents an easy, alternate solution with additional benefits. A single Mobi, integrating Siemens’ VersiCharge technology and powered by smartly repurposed second-life EV car batteries, can charge five cars per day and use lower-cost, off-peak energy. Siemens’ eCar OC includes useful interfaces for the EV driver, the Mobi manager, and the electricity-rate payer, and can provide predictive visibility for the utility. Mobi units may be leased or purchased."
FreeWire CEO and Co-founder Arcady Sosinov said:
“It’s inspiring that a visionary, global giant like Siemens is working with a bold startup like FreeWire. Together we are innovating energy-storage solutions at the grid edge.”
Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer of Siemens Smart Grid said:
“Siemens has worked with electric vehicle systems across the world and have seen first-hand that the electric car fleet can become a valuable extension of the grid. Through this partnership, Siemens will be able to extend our advanced electric vehicle charging technology not only to residential users but now to commercial users through this innovative mobile and cost-effective technology.”