By Dave Fidlin | Aug 22, 2022
Boost charger batteries
Lynch says FreeWire Technologies has set ambitious goals as demand for fast, reliable charging products continues moving at an accelerated pace.
The eight-year-old company was established to meet this need, says Lynch, who has been with the company for four years. As has been widely reported, electric vehicle use is on the rise, and the call for reliable, fast-charging batteries is top-of-mind for customers. So, too, is the most efficient and effective use of the electric grid.
"The problem with EV charging today is it can't deploy quickly," Lynch explains. "There's a variety of regulatory and grid upgrades that need to be deployed to get these EV chargers in place."
Through ongoing investments and technology, which include "tens of millions of dollars" spent towards developing and deploying the company's hardware and software, Lynch says FreeWire has been able to develop solutions for the company's core clientele. Customers range from large, multi-national operators to local corporations. Many are in such industries as fleet companies, utility providers, convenience stores, and traditional petroleum companies.
FreeWire Technologies' sole hardware product is its boost charger, which in its current form offers either 150kw or 200kw boosting capabilities. Additionally, the company offers a software product line in the form of an energy management platform to help customers buy energy when it is cheapest and, thus, most cost effective.
"Our customers are basically able to time out when they want to buy the energy and then time out how they want to provide that energy to their customers," Lynch says.
Last year, FreeWire Technologies moved into its new 66,000-square-foot facility in Newark, which included $20 million worth of state-of-the-art upgrades. The goal, Lynch says, is to develop a "world-class production facility." About 20,000 square feet of the site is used for manufacturing.
This summer, FreeWire Technologies made headlines when it inked a deal with Phillips 66. The company has enlisted FreeWire's services to launch its first-ever EV charging program in the U.S.
Amid its pursuit of ongoing growth, Lynch says FreeWire Technologies' financial performance is following the same trajectory. "We’re doing well against our targets," he continues. "It's always a tradeoff between backlog and supply chain. We all have supply chain problems around the world. If you claim you don't have a supply chain problem, then you don't know you have one."
Challenges: The overall supply chain has been cited as one of FreeWire's greatest obstacles, though Lynch says the scenario is improving.
"It has improved remarkably," he explains. "It's not nearly as systemic. But that's not to say we're out of hot water. My concern level has dropped to a moderate level."
Opportunities: Lynch says FreeWire Technologies is poised to increase its workforce in the road ahead. Within the next year, he indicated the company anticipates adding an additional 200 workers -- more than doubling its staff. Many of these jobs, he says, will strategically be placed in historically disadvantaged communities.
"These will be good, solid manufacturing and engineering jobs in and around the Bay Area," he says.
Needs: Because of the intricate nature of the infrastructure tied into FreeWire's products, Lynch says cooperation from all levels of government -- from the federal all the way down to state and local levels -- will be paramount for the company to deliver on its mission.
"It's not a simple thing to do," Lynch says. "There's a lot of regulatory and safety requirements. We've had to make enormous investments in how we manage batteries and how we build them. Building safe systems and deploying safe systems is very key to FreeWire's technology."