California-based charging startup FreeWire Technologies has partnered with GM Energy to offer its ready-made battery-powered DC fast chargers to the automaker’s energy business unit’s commercial customers.
In other words, fleet operators who use General Motors’ energy management solutions will be able to more easily buy, install, and maintain FreeWire’s fast chargers which are touted as being capable of lowering installation costs by up to 20% and operating costs by up to 70% compared to regular DC fast chargers that need high-powered connections to work.
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GM Energy commercial customers get more choices
Commercial customers of General Motors’ energy solutions will get access to FreeWire’s battery-powered DC fast chargers, the two companies announced. FreeWire’s chargers can dispense up to 200 kilowatts of power but only need up to 27 kW to recharge their integrated 160-kWh battery pack.
What sets FreeWire’s so-called Boost Chargers apart from the vast majority of high-speed EV chargers is their integrated 160-kilowatt-hour battery pack that eliminates the need for costly infrastructure upgrades, the company says.
Thanks to the battery pack, the fast chargers–which can dispense 150 kW or 200 kW, depending on the model–can be hooked up to either a 400-volt three-phase AC or a split-phase 240V source, both of which are pretty common, especially at industrial or other large-scale operations.
After it’s connected to the grid, the fast charger’s integrated energy management software can be to set up so that the batteries are topped up when energy is cheaper (usually during the night, when the vehicles are idle). Then, before work begins in the morning, the chargers can quickly transfer the stored energy to the connected EVs, getting them ready for another day of work. At least that’s the principle.
FreeWire’s Boost Chargers come with two cables, one with a CCS connector that can deliver up to 200 kW and the other with a CHAdeMO plug that can dispense up to 100 kW. From mid-2024, Tesla’s NACS connector will also be offered, so the vast majority of modern EV inlets will be covered. When two vehicles are simultaneously connected to a single charger, the power delivery is split in half, with up to 100 kW sent to each EV.