Volvo is dipping its toes into electric vehicle infrastructure with an investment in FreeWire, a manufacturer of mobile rapid charging systems for electric vehicles. The investment comes as Volvo ramps up its electrification effort.
Earlier this year, the Swedish automaker, who is now backed by China’s Geely, announced that it aims for 50% of sales to be ‘fully electric’ by 2025.
It’s one of the most aggressive electrification plans from a legacy automaker.
Today, they announced their investment in the San Francisco-based company through their Volvo Cars Tech Fund earlier today.
Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, commented on the announcement:
“Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range. 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.”
Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars, added:
“Freewire’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos. With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.”
FreeWire says that it specializes in “both stationary and mobile fast charging technology, allowing electric car charging to be deployed quickly and widely.”
The company uses movable battery packs with charging sytems:
“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 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.”
Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire, commented on the investment from Volvo:
“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. 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.”
Earlier this year, FreeWire also took a $5 million investment from the British oil company BP.