About FreeWire Technologies
FreeWire started as an idea for a business school project. Arcady Sosinov and Jawann Swislow were both taking Steve Blank’s class at UC Berkeley, learning an entrepreneurship methodology called “customer discovery,” when they realized that their project could turn into a real company. After the class ended, Steve Blank provided the duo with a seed investment to get the company off the ground, and FreeWire was born.
FreeWire takes second-life electric vehicle batteries that are too old for driving, and refurbishes the batteries to be repurposed into other products. These products encompass 1) electric vehicle charging, 2) energy storage, and 3) energy management. FreeWire addresses the challenges of large-scale electric vehicle (EV) charging through its first product, the Mobi. The Mobi is a robotic EV charger; it is a mobile, modular, distributed charging station that brings the charger to the EV, eliminating the need for expensive trenching and electrical work required for traditional charging stations. Mobi can also be charged during the daytime when solar is producing or nighttime when wind is strong, and then the power can be used to charge vehicles during the electricity grid peaks in the morning and evening. FreeWire’s second product, Mobi Gen, replaces diesel generators with clean, quiet power. The Mobi Gen improves air quality in urban construction sites and utility work by reducing local pollution from diesel and gas generators. FreeWire is working with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies to quantify these impacts. On top of their hardware, FreeWire is developing an energy management application layer capable of aggregated peak shaving, load shaping, and demand response.
FreeWire is demonstrating their first Level 3 (fast-charging) EV charging robots at multiple locations throughout Hawaii, including the Airport Trade Center in Honolulu. This pilot couples their dynamic, second-life EV battery charging solution with an energy management platform that gives admins access to real-time data on the capacity of the units and charge status. FreeWire is exploring other ways to increase access to EV charging through their low-cost solution, particularly in multi-family housing and workplaces.