FreeWire Boost 2.0 Development and Demonstration Project

FreeWire Technologies, Inc.

Recipient

San Leandro, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

18th

Assembly District

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The Issue

With the ongoing challenges presented by the state's wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, the electric grid requires increased resiliency and power demands on the grid must be reduced. Currently, conventional electric vehicle charging systems are typically tied directly to the grid without battery backup or other on-site storage. Boost Charger's integrated design will leverage on-board battery storage to combine grid-down DC fast charging with full microgrid integration and controls, creating simplified turnkey installation that can accelerate deployment.

Project Innovation

This project will finalize development for and demonstrate a direct current fast charging system (FreeWire Boost Charger) for electric vehicles at two Bay Area gas stations, one of which is located in a disadvantaged community. One of the demonstration sites will further leverage on-board battery storage to combine grid-down DC fast charging with full microgrid integration and controls. In addition, this project will reduce energy costs through peak demand reduction and demonstrate ability to operate critical site loads for at least two hours.

Project Benefits

Executive Order B-16-2012 called upon state agencies to support benchmarks to ensure that Californians have easy access to ZEV infrastructure by 2025, and Executive Order B-48-18 set targets of 250,000 electric vehicle chargers to support 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California by 2025, and 5 million by 2030. Direct current fast charging deployment is significantly constrained by site installation costs, and site hosts are strongly concerned about reliability. The project will greatly reduce the installation and operational cost for DC fast chargers by minimizing utility upgrade requirements and demand impact. It will also provide a resiliency solution to improve reliability for site hosts and fleet operators.

Lower Costs

Affordability

The project will directly reduce electricity costs for site hosts in comparison to conventional DC fast chargers. Power from the battery will be stored during cheaper off-peak periods, resulting in lower per kWh charges and lower demand charges to the site host. The system will also indirectly support lower utility costs by reducing peak period electricity demand for EV charging, which will in turn reduce the need for additional utility scale energy storage and / or peak period power production.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

The project will directly and indirectly support multiple categories of reliability benefits for IOU ratepayers. For site hosts, the project will provide up to 160 kWh of on site backup power per unit that can be microgrid integrated to provide site power in the event of a utility outage. Even without a microgrid, the system will be able to provide continued EV charging capacity when power is down. Indirectly, the project will reduce peak period grid power demand for EV charging, by capping peak period power draw at 27 kW per charger.

Increase Safety

Safety

The proposed system will be fully UL certified and compliant, ensuring that it is able to fully integrate into a grid power or microgrid scenario while providing the benefits identified above. Moreover, reductions in peak period power demand will reduce the likelihood of blackouts and brownouts in state, improving potential safety conditions associated with those occurrences. The system will also provide EV charging capacity even when the grid is down, potentially reducing risk of stranding and range limitations for EV users.

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