Tackling The Charging Infrastructure Problem
Electric vehicles have an infrastructure problem compared to gasoline-powered cars. There are 115,000 gas stations in the United States (US) as of 2020. In contrast, there are approximately 26,000 EV charging stations. As a result, some drivers are hesitant to switch to an EV because they might run out of power and have no way to recharge.
Rather than building cars through partnerships like GM and Cruise, FreeWire focuses on EV charging stations’ infrastructure. The company currently has three products: the Mobi EV charger, the Mobi Gen, and the Boost Charger. FreeWire’s technology speeds up the charging process so that more EV vehicles can be charged in the same amount of time. The startup business's Boost Charger datasheet states that it can charge electric vehicles in 10 minutes. There is one trade-off, though: the ten-minute charge only covers about one hundred miles of driving.
EV Investors Include BP
Venture capital funds like A and B typically take on the risk of supporting startup companies. That’s starting to change as more large businesses invest in startups. In FreeWire’s case, BP Ventures invested in the company’s Series A round in 2018. BP Ventures, an investment division of BP (stock ticker: LON: BP) and one of the largest energy companies in the world, has invested in $700 million in more than 40 companies.
Riverstone Holdings led the Series C business funding fund, bringing the startup’s total funding to $105 million. Founded in 2000, Riverstone has invested $1.6 billion in "low carbon platforms" since 2005. The Texas-based investor’s portfolio includes more than one hundred companies spread across fifteen countries.
Installing EV Charging Stations in the US and UK
FreeWire has already installed charging infrastructure in California. The state has developed a reputation for supporting innovative technology like electric vehicles. Investors and customers alike no longer have to wonder if the EV infrastructure startup can keep growing.
The startup business has secured a deal to significantly expand the presence of its UK EV charging stations. In December 2020, the startup company signed an agreement with bp pulse in the UK. The deal will play an important role in helping bp pulse establish seven hundred public chargers by 2025. The Observer, a British newspaper, estimates that there are "20,000 EV charge points in the U.K." The growth in British electric vehicle infrastructure might mean the UK will become the world’s number one electric car market on a per capita basis.
About the Author
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.