Volvo Cars is the latest company taking a crack at wireless EV charging

Entertainment

Swedish automaker, Volvo Cars, shared news that it is testing wireless EV charging technology in a live city environment to evaluate its potential. The stations in Gothenburg, Sweden will offer wireless charging to Volvo XC40 Recharge EVs operated by taxi company, Cabonline, over the next three years.

Volvo Cars Corp. is a global automaker headquartered in Torslanda, Sweden, that is owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely Holding Group. In recent years, Volvo has been making large strides in electrification and carbon neutrality across its different marques and production processes, vowing to be a fully-electric brand by 2030.

To support these electrification goals, Volvo Cars has begun putting the necessary production infrastructure in place, announcing plans to build a 50 GWh battery plant in Torslanda with the help of battery cell company Northvolt, to the tune of SEK 30 billion (~$3.28 billion).

Earlier this month, Volvo shared plans to invest an additional SEK 10 billion (~$1.09 billion) into its Torslanda manufacturing plant to support advanced production practices like mega casting of aluminum body parts, plus a new battery assembly facility.

These new facilities are where future Volvo EVs will be made, as well as current EVs on market like the XC40 Recharge, which will be used in Volvo’s wireless charging testing.

Volvo wireless charging
Source: Volvo Cars

Is wireless charging practical? Volvo looks to find out

Volvo Cars shared details of its three year wireless charging trial in a recent press release, noting the Nordic region’s largest taxi operator, Cabonline, as its partner.

Cabonline will operate the small fleet of XC40 Recharge EVs and test the wireless charging technology through the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative – a multi-project program in which designated areas within the city are used as live test beds for the development of sustainable tech. Mats Moberg, Head of Research and Development at Volvo Cars, elaborated:

Gothenburg Green City Zone lets us try exciting new technologies in a real environment and evaluate them over time for a potential future broader introduction. Testing new charging technologies together with selected partners is a good way to evaluate alternative charging options for our future cars.

The charging stations used for this testing program were provided by Momentum Dynamics, a provider of wireless electric charging systems we have covered in the past, working with companies like GreenPower Motor Co.

The wireless charging automatically begins when an EV parks over a charging pad embedded in the street. The charging station below then sends energy through the charging pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit implemented in the EV. 

Volvo explains that for its XC40 Recharge EVs, the wireless chargers will provide more than 40 kW of power, nearly four times faster than a wired 11 kW AC charger and closer in comparison to a wired 50 kW DC fast charger.

As part of the wireless charging trial, the Volvo branded taxis will operate for 12 hours a day, driving 100,000 km (~62,100 miles) per year. As a result, Volvo Cars will also use this program as its first durability test of its EVs in a commercial use scenario.

You can learn more about Volvo Cars’ wireless charging technology and the Gothenburg Green City Zone testing in the video below:


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