Volvo does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations.
Volvo Cars, through its recently launched Volvo Cars Tech Fund, has acquired a stake in electric car charging company FreeWire Technologies, which earlier this year attracted also BP Ventures ($5 million investment).
Volvo doesn't reveal how much it invested, but expects that having FreeWire on-board will "reinforces its overall commitment to supporting a widespread transition to electric mobility together with other partners".
Volvo Cars says that its electrification strategy does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations, however the company sees potential in mobile fast charging units in some applications.
"Installing traditional fixed fast-charging stations is usually a cost- and labour intensive process that requires a lot of electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the main electrical grid. FreeWire’s charging stations remove that complication and use low-voltage power, allowing operators to simply use existing power outlets. This means drivers can enjoy all the benefits of fast charging without operators needing to go through the hassle of establishing a high-voltage connection to the grid."
From 2019 on, all new Volvo models will be electrified. By 2025 50% of sales to be all-electric.
Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund said:
“Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range. To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank. Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”
Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars said:
“Freewire’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos. With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.”
Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire said:
“We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to develop new markets and business models around our EV fast charging and ultra-fast charging technology. Having a car maker with both the legacy and future vision of Volvo is going to give us access to technology, testing, and new strategies that will really accelerate the growth of the company.”