SAN LEANDRO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FreeWire Technologies, a pioneer in flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, has received funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK to participate in the Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging for Commercial Users competition. Supported by international energy and services company Centrica plc and delivered in partnership with Westminster City Council, the project will combine FreeWire’s mobile EV charging technology with Zipcar UK’s electrified fleet and driver patterns to test the feasibility of scalable on-demand EV charging deployments.
The aim of the competition is to develop business cases that will encourage the adoption of electrified transportation in the UK through widespread charging options.
The study will explore the potential benefits of mobile energy storage and wireless technology compared to fixed EV charging stations, which typically require high installation and labour costs as well as major electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the electricity grid.
“Our team is thrilled to present our mobile charging solutions for real-world applications in the United Kingdom,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “We hope this feasibility study will prove that flexible EV charging can be effectively integrated in cities in the UK and around the world.”
The trial is being supported by Centrica’s innovation arm, which has been established to identify and accelerate new technology and ideas for homes and businesses. The company owns one of the country’s largest commercial fleets and has ambitions to electrify the 12,000-strong fleet of vans used by its team of British Gas engineers.
“Around 40% of the UK’s homes have no access to off-street parking, so it’s essential that we find cost-effective alternatives to home charging that will meet the growing demands of existing and future EV drivers,” said Jonathan Tudor, Technology Strategy and Innovation Director for Centrica Innovations. “We’re delighted to be working with leading innovators and entrepreneurs like FreeWire, who have a key role to play in helping to unlock a cleaner future for our towns and cities.”
During the first phase of the competition, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the impact of innovative technologies for EV charging backed by a £40 million funding programme.
The competition will determine how sustainable business models can maximise the effectiveness and impact of EV infrastructure deployment. The wide variety of technologies and business models included will help implement charging infrastructure that is affordable, dependable, equitable and can promote EV adoption. Phase one finalists will enter phase two of the competition to implement their product in real-world demonstrations in London.
About FreeWire Technologies
FreeWire Technologies merges beautiful design with convenient services to electrify industries formerly dependent on fossil fuels. FreeWire’s turnkey mobile energy storage solutions deliver and manage energy whenever and wherever it’s needed for reliable electrification beyond the electrical grid. With scalable clean power that moves to meet demand, FreeWire customers can tackle new applications and deploy new business models without the complexity of traditional energy infrastructure. FreeWire’s Mobi Charger product line offers mobile EV chargers that can be quickly deployed to shift with the rapidly changing EV landscape. FreeWire’s Mobi Gen product line offers clean and quiet on-site power to substitute or supplement the use of diesel generators for a variety of remote power needs.
Centrica plc is an international energy and services company. Our purpose is to provide energy and services to satisfy the changing needs of our customers. We’ve been serving customers for over 200 years and aim to be at the centre of their daily lives - central to helping them run their world. Our two global divisions, Centrica Consumer and Centrica Business, supply energy and energy-related services to over 25 million customer accounts in the UK, Ireland and North America, through brands such as British Gas, Direct Energy and Bord Gáis Energy. They do this with the support of 15,000 engineers and technicians. Innovation underpins everything we do, which is why we’re investing £100m in Centrica Innovations, a new venture that aims to identify, incubate and accelerate new technologies and ideas for homes and businesses.
About Zipcar UK
Zipcar is the world’s leading car sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour or day, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in over 500 cities and towns across Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Iceland, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Zipcar offers the most comprehensive, most convenient and most flexible car sharing options available. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global provider of mobility solutions. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.