Seriously?

Just when you thought that the electric vehicle hype nonsense could not get any sillier, there comes this press release from the City of Westminster in London. Quote.

FreeWire Technologies, a pioneer in flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, has received funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK to participate in the Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging for Commercial Users competition. Supported by international energy and services company Centrica plc and delivered in partnership with Westminster City Council, the project will combine FreeWire’s mobile EV charging technology with Zipcar UK’s electrified fleet and driver patterns to test the feasibility of scalable on-demand EV charging deployments.

The aim of the competition is to develop business cases that will encourage the adoption of electrified transportation in the UK through widespread charging options.

The study will explore the potential benefits of mobile energy storage and wireless technology compared to fixed EV charging stations, which typically require high installation and labour costs as well as major electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the electricity grid.

“Our team is thrilled to present our mobile charging solutions for real-world applications in the United Kingdom,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “We hope this feasibility study will prove that flexible EV charging can be effectively integrated in cities in the UK and around the world.” […]

Around 40% of the UK’s homes have no access to off-street parking, so it’s essential that we find cost-effective alternatives to home charging that will meet the growing demands of existing and future EV drivers,” said Jonathan Tudor, Technology Strategy and Innovation Director for Centrica Innovations. “We’re delighted to be working with leading innovators and entrepreneurs like FreeWire, who have a key role to play in helping to unlock a cleaner future for our towns and cities.”

During the first phase of the competition, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the impact of innovative technologies for EV charging backed by a £40 million funding programme.

The competition will determine how sustainable business models can maximise the effectiveness and impact of EV infrastructure deployment. The wide variety of technologies and business models included will help implement charging infrastructure that is affordable, dependable, equitable and can promote EV adoption. Phase one finalists will enter phase two of the competition to implement their product in real-world demonstrations in London. […] End quote.

If I understand this correctly, businesses are given a cash handout of taxpayer funds to show that they have a viable product. Whatever happened to proving yourself first?

As they correctly point out, 40% have no access to off-street parking. Many UK city streets are narrow. If Brits do own a garage, it seems to be very rare that they actually use that garage for parking a car.  Thus plugging in the EV when you get home at night presents a problem, even if you can park reasonably close to your residence.  Imagine the trip hazard of all the cables lying across the pavement and then some cheeky soul unplugs your car in the wee small hours and plugs his own car in to your power.

The bright sparks at FreeWire have come up with mobile charging units, see picture above.  You plug the box into the wall, charge the batteries the somehow manoeuvre this extremely heavy ‘mobile’ unit alongside your vehicle to save you the bother of waiting at a charge point.  Yeah, that’ll work.  The little old ladies will have no problems getting one of those beasts along an icy London pavement.

Or perhaps they will bring one to your door on request? (Picture from their website.)

Yup, that’ll work. Park that in a narrow inner city street and charge the car.  Brilliant!  (That ute is an EV, isn’t it?)  Anyone who has driven in London will know that many streets are reduced to a single carriage way when residents park on both sides.

And “Wireless”?  Charging an EV using wireless technology?  I don’t think so.

It might say “FreeWire” but those are some heavy duty wires in that Tweeted picture.

Their website is very low on detail so there are no specifications on the weight of that box.  It is full of heavy batteries so 100 kg or more?


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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