14 Mar 22

Volvo to test wireless fast-charging

Volvo to test wireless fast-charging

Volvo is about to start a three-year pilot to test wireless charging in its Swedish hometown. Wireless chargers developed by Momentum Dynamics will be installed in Gothenburg’s Green City Zone (pictured). They will be used by a small fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge electric taxis, operated by Cabonline. 

The charging pads will be embedded in the street. The vehicles will simply have to park over them to start recharging - no plugs needed. The pad will send energy to a receiver in the vehicle at a flow of 40kW, i.e. four times faster than wired 11kW charger, and almost as fast as a wired 50kW charger. 

According to Momentum Dynamics, its system of inductive charging minimises charging losses to the same level as charging via cable. In optimal circumstances, the losses could be even smaller. Additionally, wireless charging adds convenience. It means drivers won’t have to get out of the car, which is a big plus if the weather is cold and/or wet, or otherwise bad. 

Cabonline’s electric Volvos are expected to drive more than 12 hours a day and more than 100,000 km per year, which will put the viability of the system to a good test. The cars will be fitted with 360° cameras to help drivers align with the charging pads. 

“Testing new charging technologies together with selected partners is a good way to evaluate alternative charging options for our future cars,” says Mats Moberg, Volvo’s Head or R&D.

  • Momentum Dynamics is one of several companies developing wireless EV charging. WiTricity developed a factory-installed wireless charging system for the Genesis GV60, but also has an aftermarket system. 
  • Another option for offering a more convenient charging solution than plug-and-charge is the ‘charging robot’ developed by Continental, which automatically plugs into a port at the bottom of the EV. 
  • Momentum and Cabonline have collaborated on wireless EV taxi charging before. In 2020, they initiated a pilot in Oslo, using 25 Jaguar I-Pace electric SUVs. 

Image: Volvo

Authored by: Frank Jacobs