Technology/Services

FreeWire to Launch Site Analytics Tool

AI-enabled technology to provide EV charger recommendations
FreeWire Technologies
Photograph: Shutterstock

FreeWire Technologies is using artificial intelligence to predict demand for electric-vehicle charging in various locations, allowing retailers to make more-informed choices about where to install charging stations.

The Newark, California-based manufacturer of EV charging technology plans to introduce a strategic analytics software tool called Mobilyze Pro in first-quarter 2024 to assist retailers in deciding how many chargers to install, where to install them and how much to charge for charging to make a profit.

FreeWire has sold about 600 chargers the United States and Canada, with each charging containing two charging ports so two cars can charge at once, FreeWire spokesperson Sara Dodrill said.

FreeWire’s charging stations are located at the following convenience-store and retail sites: Circle K, bp, Campbell Oil, Chevron, Friendship Food Stores, Kum & Go, Loop Neighborhood Market, Mark Oil, Meijer, Otamar (Spain), Parkland (Canada), Phillips 66, Road Ranger, Rotten Robbie and TravelCenters of America.

Five Questions

To predict profitability for an EV charging port at a certain location, Dodril said, Mobilyze Pro analyzes five dimensions by considering questions like these:

The five dimensions consider the following questions for each site of interest:

  1. Is the location a destination?
  2. How many EV drivers live or work in the area?
  3. How many charging ports of comparable speed are located near the location?
  4. Does the area cater to long-distance drivers?
  5. Is the location in an area where renters or others aren’t likely to have access to at-home charging?

One reason EV charging stations lag EV adoption is the lack of information that’s been available on the business case, Dodrill said. For business owners to move forward with confidence on an EV charging station, most want more information, she said.

“The platform uses AI to make highly accurate predictions and optimize project economics, making EV fast-charging more ubiquitous and more accessible to the public,” said Arcady Sosinov, chief executive officer and founder of FreeWire Technologies.

Mobilyze.ai Acquisition

FreeWire’s December 2022 acquisition of Mobilyze.ai led to its profitability calculator, used to predict cash flow and operating costs. The utilization prediction analysis looks at charging activity at existing public charging locations, EV travel patterns and vehicle owner demographics to predict about how many charging sessions a site should prepare for. Based on the data, the tool ranks sites for their potential EV charging use and expected return on investment.

The company’s Charging Location Analysis and Incentive Management (CLAIM) service identifies incentives available from stated and federal government agencies and utilities, she said.

Besides the five dimensions for each site, Mobilyze Pro analyzes information to generate tariff or pricing recommendations, based on electricity costs in the area, and the estimated cash flow, Dodrill said. FreeWire aims to provide a window into the expected return on investment, she said.

How much EV charging costs the consumer depends on the rates from available utilities in the area, she said.

FreeWire hasn’t disclosed pricing for Mobilyze Pro but it is offering five free site evaluations, Dodrill said. “The site host does not have to buy our equipment to use this,” she said.

FreeWire’s expansion is driven in part by policies enacted in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, which provide incentives to companies for their support of EV policies, the company said.

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