November 17, 2016

FreeWire Technologies, Energy Excelerator, and Hawaiian Electric Bring Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging to Hawaii

With a Hawaiian blessing and untying of the traditional maile lei, FreeWire Technologies today officially opened for public use two Mobi Chargers, battery-supported DC fast chargers for electric vehicles, at Honolulu’s Airport Trade Center. Hawaii Energy Excelerator and Hawaiian Electric Company are supporting this pilot project.

A Mobi Charger can deliver close to a full charge to most fast-charge capable electric vehicles on the road today in less than 45 minutes. The chargers, located at the Airport Trade Center on Paiea Street, can serve the needs of most EV drivers on the road today. They include a CHAdeMO connector (used by most Japanese and Korean EVs like the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Kia Soul EV) and a Tesla adapter connection.

The California-based FreeWire’s Mobis may be used in a stationary location or moved to where an EV is parked and moved to the next EV when charging is done, rather than parking an EV at a charger, as is common at other chargers accessible to the public today. This makes them ideal for office and apartment buildings and parking structures.

For its Mobis, FreeWire works with auto manufacturers to reuse second-life EV batteries, proving longer, environmentally benign use for these batteries. Mobi chargers can be recharged when a large amount of renewable energy is available on the grid, such as solar energy, which will contribute to meeting Hawaii’s clean energy goals.

To use the chargers, electric vehicle drivers can download FreeWire’s mobile app for Apple and Android devices, complete the profile, and plug in the vehicle. The cost to charge will be about $6.50 per session.

“EV adoption is growing and drivers will need fast charging to be more available. We’re making it easier than ever for sites to host charging stations delivering rapid rates of charge,” said Arcady Sosinov, FreeWire CEO. “Over the course of the project, the stations will provide information to Hawaiian Electric to evaluate the benefits of battery-supported EV chargers.”

“Hawaii has so much solar energy already on our grids that we welcome the chance to capture that solar energy in reused batteries to help with the ‘greening’ of transportation,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “The information we get from this project will help Hawaiian Electric to develop more electric vehicle programs that will not only save our customers on their total energy budget but will reduce Hawaii’s overall carbon footprint.” FreeWire is one in a portfolio of companies supported by the Energy Excelerator, a Hawaii-based accelerator that finds and funds startups to help Hawaii reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. In addition to FreeWire, Hawaiian Electric is also working through the Energy Excelerator with new energy storage companies: Stem, Inc.; Shifted Energy; and Amber Kinetics.

“FreeWire’s Mobi is one of the best examples of a new technology working with existing infrastructure to reduce cost barriers for fast and simple implementation,” said Jill Sims, Energy Excelerator co-founder and Demonstration Track leader.

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