The number of public charging stations available to electric-car drivers is growing steadily, but that expansion brings a somewhat delicate problem.

Charging stations are fixed in one spot--so what happens when someone has blocked them?

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Many electric-car drivers have experienced the frustration of locating a charging station, only to find the space blocked by a non-electric car (known as getting "ICEed").

Or, for that matter, another electric car that's done charging but whose owner hasn't released the cable and moved the car out of the way.

That's why a startup called FreeWire thinks it's time to put charging stations on wheels.

FreeWire Mobi Charger mobile electric-car charging station

FreeWire Mobi Charger mobile electric-car charging station

Its Mobi Charger is intended to solve the problem of blocked charging stations by simply moving the charger to the cars that need charging.

This box on wheels is aimed at workplaces, where cars usually stay parked in one spot all day--regardless of how much time they actually spend charging.

Looking like an overgrown laser printer on wheels, an individual Mobi Charger can charge 5 cars per workday, according to FreeWire.

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The prototype Mobi Charger includes 10 kWh of "second life" batteries taken from Nissan Leaf electric cars, and is equipped for 240-Volt Level 2 charging.

The company hopes to offer more capabilities eventually, including a larger 48-kWh battery pack as well as DC fast charging via both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors.

FreeWire plans to launch the Mobi Charger as a service, with an attendant monitoring the charging units. A "semi-autonomous" version that would require less human involvement is also planned.

FreeWire Mobi Charger mobile electric-car charging station

FreeWire Mobi Charger mobile electric-car charging station

Companies would pay a monthly fee, and let FreeWire manage all of the recharging.

Since the Mobi Chargers can draw power from the grid to recharge itself during off-peak hours, the startup claims users can save money on electricity.

Ultimately, though, while the Mobi Charger solves the issue of charging-station access, some may consider it a solution in search of a problem.

RELATED: Electric-Car Charging Station Blocked? Get An Extension Cord!

After all, instead of having a fleet of heavy, expensive mobile battery boxes that require a designated attendant, mightn't it be easier to get people just to move their cars?

Or, perhaps, use longer charging cables--or get some extension cords?

[hat tip: Wes Lambert]


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