GM Energy is offering its commercial customers faster availability of high-speed EV charging through a partnership with FreeWire Technologies, The General’s energy ecosystem subsidiary announced today as part of its push the accelerate electrification.
The planned collaboration between GM Energy and FreeWire will offer extra convenience to GM customers who are changing over their fleets from ICE vehicles to EVs, and will help them cut down on expenses in many cases as well.
The FreeWire alliance gives GM Energy and thus its fleet and commercial customers access to FreeWire’s ultrafast EV charging infrastructure. Clients served by FreeWire can get access to fast charging for their vehicles within a few days. The company’s charging system can also be deployed without major upgrades to the electrical systems at the customer location and without new construction.
This high-speed, easy deployment of EV charging stations stands in contrast to the usual process of setting up chargers for a commercial electric vehicle fleet. Rather than the few days to full electrification offered by FreeWire, the usual process to upgrade electrical supply to meet the greatly increased power demand of EV charging needs a year or more to complete, and is very expensive.
The arrangement also makes sense for customers leasing their business location, who may not want to pay for complex electrical upgrades at a site they do not own and may eventually leave.
The FreeWire system is based on the company’s Boost Charger, which is not just an ordinary charging station drawing all of its power from the grid but also includes a high-capacity battery pack. This pack charges from ordinary A/C electrical supply, then charges a plugged-in EV from its own internal power reserve. This enables recharging up to 600 miles’ worth of EV battery capacity per hour at each Boost Charger.
The Boost Charger also continues to work in the event of a blackout, drawing on its own internal stored electricity. This makes FreeWire’s chargers usable even in the event of a natural disaster or other occurrence that knocks out the main power grid, making charging infrastructure more robust and “anti-fragile.” Each Boost Charger has an output of up to 200 kW, a battery capacity of 160 kWh, and can charge two EVs simultaneously.
Together, the products offered by FreeWire and GM Energy in alliance create “a turnkey energy transition package that includes both vehicles and a charging solution that fits their specific needs,” per the announcement.
The combined GM Energy and FreeWire electrification service will be available to GM’s commercial and fleet EV customers in early 2024.