Volvo has invested in FreeWire Technologies, who specialises in mobile rapid charging systems in California. Their charging stations initially use low voltage power, so operators can simply connect them to a standard power outlet.
The sum of the investment remains undisclosed but it was made through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. The Swedish automobile manufacturer set up the fund this year to invest in promising startups from the international technology industry sector.
FreeWire, which is based in San Francisco, is one such promising technology startup. Their fast charging technology takes advantage of high speed charging without having to install the expensive high voltage architecture, as they connect to a standard power outlet. Moreover, their installations can be both stationary or mobile, thus allowing greater flexibility.
Volvo’s electrification strategy does not contain charging stations of their own so far. The investment shows though that they intend to support a broad approach to electrification. Zaki Fasihuddin, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, states: “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.”
FreeWire will likely also benefit from other factors in the Volvo cooperation; Volvo’s parent company Geely may possibly even open the doors to the Chinese market.
Volvo is following an ambitious global electrification strategy: Each new model starting in 2019 will be electrified. As of 2025, 50% of their global sales will also be electrified, according to the plan.