Freedom Won – The Jeep, the Battery and the People
In 2009, when the founders of Freedom Won, Lizette Kriel and Antony English started converting their own Jeep to pure electric drive in their carport, little did they know that by 2017 they would be running a fully-fledged reneweable energy company.
Eight years after their prototype Jeep conversion, the two entrepreneurs’ self-funded electric Jeep – aptly re-named Freedom 1 – has now completed 105 000 pure electric kms, and still on the original Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack!
Today Freedom Won is in the business of electrifying (converting) cars for numerous clients, so that they too can reap the benefits of driving electric. After the Freedom Won Company was established in 2012, Chobe Game Lodge (CGL) joined the movement, championed by its Director Johan Bruwer. Together they built and launched the first prototype for CGL which was then launched in 2014.
In just a few years the CGL partnership, has converted 5 vehicles and 4 boats from conventional diesel and petrol burners, to electric drive. To date CGL has covered a combined total of 125 040 km with their EVs, saving 22 329 litres of diesel and just over 58 725 kgs of CO2 emissions at 5.6 km per litre diesel.
Following this success, in 2015 Freedom Won set on a new path, by harnessing the same technology in their electric vehicles (EV’s) to fuel a new part of the business – energy storage solutions.
As the production and sales of their innovative energy storage solutions continued to grow, the team at Freedom Won also had to grow. Soon the team of 5 would outgrow the initial arrangement of working from the co-founders’ home study and garage. In 2015 they took the next leap by moving their workshop to a 75 sqm unit in Ruimsig.
Now Freedom Won boasts a staff compliment of 25 on a 700 sqm premises, where their team is being empowered with specialised skills as the company evolves. Part of their evolution includes being able to alleviate the costs of outsourcing certain aspects of their manufacturing processes, by investing in their own equipment and more importantly in their team’s skills development..
Some of the processes they are now able to bring in- house, with their newly acquired state of the art equipment and highly trained staff include:
- The bending of aluminium steel plating used for Freedom Won battery boxes
- The specialised mig and tig welding of the aluminium battery boxes
- All branding, crating, packaging and exporting of Freedom Won batteries
- Total assembly of the Freedom Won batteries
- Freedom Won Electric Mobility (conversions)
With this exponential growth that Freedom Won has seen, they continue to make their mark in the renewable energy space. To date the company has sold over 600 Lites ((LiFe PO4) batteries) totalling 7 MWh, boasting a flourishing global footprint in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.