How can we speed up the progress of electric mobility? By putting wheels on the recharging stations. This is the idea that has been embraced by our Group, thanks to the collaboration with FreeWire Technologies, a young business from Silicon Valley discovered during scouting activities at the Group’s Hub in Berkeley. The aim is to work together to explore the possibilities of offering a recharging network for electric vehicles that is more flexible, more sustainable and faster.
The pilot project at the heart of the partnership establishes the use of MobiTM Chargers developed by FreeWire. These genuine “rolling stations”, or charging stations on wheels, which are not connected to the grid, are compatible with all models of electric cars and are capable of offering a recharging experience similar to that of the fixed stations. Furthermore, the technology requires less investment than solutions that are connected to the electricity network.
To try out the innovation, Enel will use Mobi TM Chargers as part of its e-mobility research centre and will work with FreeWire to adapt the product to the European market, also exploring potential synergies with power conversion systems developed by Enel.
“We aim to provide our customers with an optimum recharging experience and the utility with the integration of the recharging and storage system with the grid,” explains Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “Enel is the perfect partner for us because the company is recognised on an international level as a leader in the electrification of transport and the sustainability of the energy services sector.”
“For Enel, the agreement with FreeWire,” explained Federico Caleno, Head of Enel’s E-Mobility Solutions, “is another piece in the jigsaw of our strategy of ‘Open Innovation’ for the development of innovative technologies and solutions to increase the competitiveness of technology for electric mobility and transfer it to a mass market.” This sector is destined to grow in coming years thanks to the economic and technological coming of age of electric vehicles, while in Europe the EU Commission is preparing to adopt a packet of measures relating to clean mobility and in Italy, where Enel “is committed to playing a leading role in the development of a charging infrastructure for the national territory.”
The agreement with FreeWire includes the development of innovative models to provide energy to electric cars through on-demand charging stations spread around urban areas, in addition to the integration of a back up network with rapid charging supported by batteries. The partnership establishes, moreover, the development of new mobile storage systems used to support the distribution network in order to improve resilience to be employed during maintenance operations and emergency situations.
“In order to seize these new business opportunities, our Group is constantly researching innovative ideas and technology,” explains Ernesto Ciorra, Head of Innovation and Sustainability at Enel. “For this reason we are building a network of international innovation hubs to identify the best start ups with which to establish technological and commercial partnerships.”