- Freewire Technologies, a battery-integrated electric vehicle charging technology company, has unveiled an AI-enabled prediction tool to help the businesses and several c-store retailers using its chargers, according to an emailed press release.
- The tool, Mobilyze Pro, uses AI and algorithms to analyze datasets and determine the optimal locations to place EV charging stations. It will be available across the U.S. and in four Canadian provinces in the first quarter of 2024.
- Adding EV charging capabilities can be an expensive and time-consuming process. With EV adoption still far behind internal combustion engine use, chargers are not the right fit for every location.
Mobilyze Pro’s platform includes a utilization prediction engine, which takes data from existing charging locations, demographics, EV ownership levels and travel patterns to estimate how many charges per day a site can expect. It can also quantify how the chargers will impact utility bills and other costs.
Companies can compare the metrics of sites across their footprints, adding another way to focus on the best places to start or expand an EV charging program.
“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, CEO and founder of FreeWire.
With EV charging on the rise, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates the U.S. will need more than 180,000 DC fast chargers with output of 150 kW or higher by 2030 to meet expected demand. At this point, it estimated the U.S. has less than 8% of the fast chargers it will need by 2030.
An increasing number of c-store companies are making the leap into EV charging, from major operators like Alimentation Couche-Tard and 7-Eleven to smaller players like Plaid Pantry. Freewire has partnered with several convenience retailers, including Kum & Go, Loop Neighborhood Markets, Parkland, Road Ranger, Rotten Robbie and TravelCenters of America, a company spokesperson said in an email.
Beyond selecting an ideal location for charging stations, retailers must ensure their sites are always operating and remain safe and well-lit, as well as have enough food and merchandise inside the store to keep customers busy while charging their cars.
Overall satisfaction with EV charging has dropped among U.S. customers year over year, with fast charger satisfaction at 654 out of 1,000, according to a first-quarter JD Power survey.