The potential $50 million deal might result in installation of hundreds of battery-powered Boost Chargers, under bp pulse's broader plan to have over 700 DC points by 2025. It would probably be the biggest deal ever for FreeWire.
The advantage of FreeWire Boost Chargers is that it has an integrated 160 kWh lithium-ion battery, which allows it to deliver up to 120 kW of DC power (CCS, or 100 kW CHAdeMO), while being connected to a relatively low-power power supply (1- or 3-phase, up to 27 kW). This is the key feature to lower the installation requirements, lower the installation costs (also the cost of maintenance) and to shorten the time required to deploy a new ultra-fast charger.
If BP would like to install ultra-fast charging station at its fuel stations, in most cases this type of charger would solve the issue of insufficient power at the site.
In a demonstration event, a fully charged Boost Charger was able to recharge 12 electric cars in six hours (each at peak or high power), despite having only a 20 kW grid connection.
"FreeWire’s Boost Charger connects to existing low-voltage grid connections while enabling ultra-fast charging using an integrated 160 kWh lithium-ion battery. This technological innovation can virtually eliminate the costs associated with grid upgrades and reduces ongoing costs by reducing standing charges for electricity supply at the site.
The Boost Charger only requires a relatively modest grid connection, similar to a typical household supply, to trickle charge the battery and provide an additional power boost while charging, if required.
EV charging can place significant demands on the grid, especially on a local level and certain locations can’t be easily upgraded to high power connections. The flexibility of the Boost Charger solution means that significantly more locations will be able to benefit from ultra-fast charging."
We guess that the partnership between FreeWire and bp pulse is a natural consequence of the previous investment of BP Ventures into FreeWire back in 2018.
As we understand, BP intends to gather in hand all the elements of the charging business, from manufacturing the chargers (and AC charging points) up to offering a comprehensive public charging network. It's not a bad strategy, especially in the case of the fading fuel business.
More about the Boost Charger: