© Volvo Electronics Production | October 29, 2018
Volvo Cars invests in electric car charging company FreeWire
Volvo Cars says that it has acquired a stake in electric car charging company FreeWire Technologies via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, deepening the company’s commitment to a fully electric future.
While Volvo Cars’s electrification strategy does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations, the investment in FreeWire reinforces its overall commitment to supporting a widespread transition to electric mobility together with other partners, the company states in a press release. FreeWire is a San Francisco-based company focused on flexible fast-charging technology for electric cars. It specialises in both stationary and mobile fast charging technology, allowing electric car charging to be deployed quickly and widely. Installing traditional fixed fast-charging stations is usually a cost- and labour intensive process that requires a lot of electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the main electrical grid. FreeWire’s charging stations aims to remove that complication and use low-voltage power, allowing operators to simply use existing power outlets. This means drivers can enjoy all the benefits of fast charging without operators needing to go through the hassle of establishing a high-voltage connection to the grid. “Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range,” says Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, in the press release. “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’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos,” adds Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars. “With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.” “We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to develop new markets and business models around our EV fast charging and ultra-fast charging technology,” says Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire. “Having a car maker with both the legacy and future vision of Volvo is going to give us access to technology, testing, and new strategies that will really accelerate the growth of the company.” The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was launched earlier this year and aims to invest in high-potential technology start-ups around the globe. It focuses its investments on strategic technology trends transforming the auto industry, such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous drive and digital mobility services. Earlier this year, the Volvo Cars Tech Fund announced its first investment in Luminar Technologies, a leading start-up in the development of advanced sensor technology for use in autonomous vehicles, with whom Volvo Cars collaborates on the development and testing of its LiDAR sensing technology on Volvo cars. Companies benefit from participation by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund as they may gain the ability to validate technologies, accelerate market introduction, as well as potentially access Volvo Cars’ global network and unique position in the Chinese car market.