Freewire becomes Boost charging partner to Philipps 66
Boosted charging specialist Freewire announced signing a letter of intent with Phillips 66. The rest stop operator says it wants to explore opportunities to deploy FreeWire’s technology within its US fueling station network and other strategic locations.
++ This article has been updated; please continue reading below. ++
Phillips 66 operates around 7,000 pit stops in the USA under various brands and intends to expand its range of charging stations. For Freewire, this would be the first significant deal in North America. The company is known for its Boost Charger, which connects to existing low-voltage infrastructure.
That is also one of the reasons why Phillips 66 wants to work with Freewire. “We like battery-enabled chargers for many reasons,” said Lou Burke, Manager of Branded Sales at Phillips 66. “These types of chargers require minimal electrical infrastructure investment, significantly reducing permitting and time to value.” He added that they would further reduce operational costs by charging up the battery when power is cheaper but still providing capacity to give customers a rapid charge.
The FreeWire Boost Charger has a 160 kWh battery, delivering up to 200 kW charging power, while the required input power is only about one-eighth of this value – 27 kW, to be precise. Depending on the country and customer, the station has two outputs that can be equipped with CCS1, CCS2 or CHAdeMO cables. CHAdeMO’s charging power is limited to 100 kW; 200 kW is only possible with CCS. Suppose two vehicles charge via CCS, each charge at 100 kW. The Boost Charger has a 24-inch touchscreen for operation. The station is already CE-certified and also OCPP-compliant.
Arcady Sosinov, FreeWire Founder and CEO, called their battery-integrated charger a “streamlined, shovel-ready solution that many entering the EV charging space are looking for.” The website claims installation costs would reduce by 20% and operating costs by 70%.
Freewire recently launched its global headquarters in Newark, California. The facility included manufacturing and R&D capacity and was at the centre of the latest funding round this spring. The company raised $125 million from new and recurring investors such as Black Rock and BP Ventures.
The latter is among Freewire’s early supporters. BP’s charging venture BP Pulse will exclusively operate FreeWire’s Boost Charger in the UK.
Phillips 66 is also no stranger to Europe and is known under its Jet brand. As reported, Jet plans to build up to 250 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, Austria and Denmark by 2026, together with H2 Energy Europe. Whether they will also deploy battery-based HPCs in Europe is open at this stage.
Update 18 October 2022
The partnership between BP-backed Freewire and pit stop company Phillips 66 is going ahead. The partners announced installing the first ultra-rapid chargers at a Houston fuel station. Located near the Philipps 66 headquarters, the company considers this its flagship rest stop and the start of a wider EV infrastructure roll-out.
However, when and how far this may go was left out of today’s announcement. As mentioned above, the company runs more than 7,000 pit stops in the USA, also under labels such as 76 and Conoco.
“The installation of the first FreeWire EV chargers at our Phillips 66 flagship fuel station represents an important step in our EV charging journey as well as our commitment to pursue lower-carbon solutions,” said Rod Palmer, Vice President of US Marketing at Phillips 66. “FreeWire’s charger offers consumers the fast-charging experience they’re looking for, and Phillips 66’s branded network of fueling locations places the chargers at existing, strategically located sites.”
FreeWire’s Boost Charger connects to existing low-voltage infrastructure without construction costs and permitting restraints since it delivers high power from a buffer battery. The battery charges at off-peak times when electricity is cheaper, reducing operational costs for the site while still providing the needed capacity to give consumers a rapid charge.
freewiretech.com, businesswire.com (update Oct’ 22)
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