Swedish luxury vehicles company Volvo Cars has bought a stake in FreeWire Technologies, a California-based electric car charging business.
The acquisition has been made through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, which was launched earlier this year. In an announcement Wednesday, Volvo described FreeWire as a “pioneer in flexible fast charging technology for electric cars.”
Volvo becomes the latest major business to take an interest in FreeWire. In January 2018, BP Ventures announced it was investing $5 million in the business.
From 2019, every new car that Volvo launches is set to be electrified. The business wants fully-electric cars to account for 50 percent of overall global sales by the year 2025.
“To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank,” Zaki Fasihuddin, the Volvo Cars Tech Fund CEO, said in a statement. “Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”
In 2017, there were more than 3 million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the planet’s roads, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global Electric Vehicles Outlook. This represents an increase of 54 percent compared to 2016.
Almost 580,000 electric cars were sold in China last year, according to the IEA, while around 280,000 were sold in the U.S.
In terms of charging infrastructure, the IEA says that, globally, there were an estimated 3 million private chargers at homes and workplaces in 2017. The number of “publicly accessible” chargers amounted to roughly 430,000.