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⚡ "Ultra-Fast EV Charging"

Redefining Energy

Photo by Michael Marais / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Gerard Reid & Laurent Segalen
Guest: Arcady Sosinov | CEO | FreeWire Technologies
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:37] “People think [the charging industry] is about seven years old. It's actually about 100 years old. We had more charging stations in the US in the 1920s than we had gas stations. And you would think that by this period of time, we'd be able to solve the issues around charging infrastructure and make it ubiquitous and make it easy. And it's just not there yet.”

[2.56] “The problems stem from all sides of the equation. From auto manufacturers having different charging standards for all the vehicles, even when it is the same charging standard, they are implemented differently. So the interoperability with charging stations is not quite there yet. The interface of having to download a smartphone app, a different network ID card every single time. The network connectivity issues. Every time you pull to a charging station, you don't know if it's gonna be connected to the car. Your cell phone is connected to a network, why can't the charging station be? And the hardware issues of cables not working, the electrical systems not working causing shorts grounds on these charging equipment. It is the bane of my existence as the CEO of a charging company. I am embarrassed by it. And the industry is trying to come together to solve it. But it's not quite there yet. And there's a significant challenge ahead of us.”

[4:27] “The issues around hardware are being solved. The hardware is getting more reliable. Companies are releasing hardware that is more standardized. Auto manufacturers and charging infrastructure companies are working together to solve the interoperability problems. Here at FreeWire, we have Volkswagen, Porsche, Ford, Rivian, Harley Davidson visiting our facility on a weekly basis doing interoperability testing with our charging equipment, and that's leading to the solution.”

[5:00] “In Europe, there are hundreds of different charging networks. They're not interoperable. There's no roaming agreements, even though they would like to claim there are. And they want to capture your information and your credit card as the driver. The question is why? Wouldn't it be easier if you can go in and just tap your phone on a credit card reader, swipe your credit card and be able to start your charging session that way? Do they really need to track that you're on discharge or versus that charger? So the concept of a network is a broken antiquated concept. You should be able to charge on any charger without having your information tracked, without relying on a smartphone app or an RFID card that you don't want to carry around in your wallet anyways. And then that's going to go away.”

[6:56] “I think that slow charging works at home, works at your place of work, where you have 8 to 10 hours that your vehicle is sitting there. But invariably, consumers and drivers need ultra fast charging on the road. Ultra fast means 150 kilowatts plus, which means 20 minutes of charging time or less. And you need to know that every Starbucks that you visit, every McDonald's that you go to, every supermarket shopping mall that you visit, you're going to have ultra fast charging infrastructure available there for you. And that retailer notes that you're going to visit that store, and you're going to step into the store for 20 minutes and buy the goods that you need to buy. […] For a retailer, every minute of time spent in the store is about $1 of incremental revenue. […] And these retailers and the being the natural owners because they're capturing the entire share of revenue […] that was otherwise previously captured by […] other locations, they know that they can capture your dollars.”

[8:37] “I don't see a site being capable of 100 to 200 ultra fast chargers. […] Two ultra fast chargers in front of a Walmart will use as much power as the Walmart itself. 200 will bring down the grid infrastructure on site. So it's just not feasible. There are two things to think about. One, you don't need sites with 100 to 200 ultra fast chargers. You need many sites with 2-8 ultra fast chargers. So you need to be ubiquitous, you don't need these centralized large depots except for situations like fleets. The service that we provide, and what we believe is the future of ultra fast charging is ultra fast charging has to be integrated with storage. There has to be storage on site, because charging by its nature is very unpredictable and peaky. You have these spikes of power that occur every time someone plugs in. But they're not consistent throughout the day. So if you have storage to mitigate those spikes down and to mitigate the infrastructure needs, you can deploy more ultra fast charging, and you don't have to strain the grid that exists in that location. So we've developed at FreeWires a ultra fast charger with integrated storage that sits on existing willpower infrastructure. What that means that you can deploy at a lower capital cost than any ultra fast charger out there. You can have significantly lower operating costs, about 70% lower. And more importantly you can deploy in locations where other charges can't.”

[18:19] “Before [charging] was a cost driver. And now with the deployment of solar, on these sites, storage on these sites and charging infrastructure, […] you can now become a part of an energy ecosystem. You can drive revenue by participating in utility programs. Demand response is a great example. If you participate in demand response programs, you're going to earn additional revenue for that site. If you participate in frequency regulation programs, voltage regulation programs, you're going to generate revenue for that site. So the person that can figure out how to lower their cost of operations through storage and solar, or create new revenue opportunities by participating in […] aggregation, they're going to be a more profitable site. And you're going to see retailers actually choose locations and choose equipment that can do that for them.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 28 min | 🗓️ 12/01/2021
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