No plug required: Volvo is testing WIRELESS charging tech so drivers can park electric cars over pads in the street to boost batteries
- Trial is currently taking place using Volvo XC40 Recharge taxis in Gothenburg
- Compatible cars stop over charging pads embedded into the road
- Energy is sent through the charging pad to a receiver unit on underside of cars
- Tests will help Volvo better understand if the tech can be used in future EVs
Swedish car maker Volvo has begun testing wireless charging technology in a live city environment for future electric cars.
Compatible cars stop over charging pads that have been embedded into the road, meaning electric vehicle (EV) owners don’t have to exit the car to boost the batteries.
The three-year trial uses a small fleet of fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge SUV taxis that will be able to access wireless charging stations in its home nation’s second largest city, Gothenburg.
No need for a plug: Volvo has started testing WIRELESS charging tech so drivers can park over a pad in the road that sends electricity to the batteries
Each charging session starts automatically when a compatible vehicle parks over the blue square charging pads fitted into the street at the dedicated stations in the Swedish city.
The charging station sends energy through the charging pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit that sits under the car close to the front axle.
For drivers to easily align their zero-emission SUVs with the charging pads, they can use the car’s 360-degree camera system that provides an overhead view so they can line-up precisely with the unit.
For the fully electric XC40 Recharge cars, the wireless charging power will be more than 40kW, making the charging speeds around four times faster than a wired 11kW AC charger and almost as fast as a wired 50kW DC fast charger.
In total, the Volvo cars will be used for more than 12 hours a day and drive 100,000km (62,000 miles) per year, which also makes this the first durability test of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial usage scenario.
Compatible XC40 Recharge taxis stop over these blue charging pads embedded into the road at the dedicated charging stations in Gothenburg
Drivers can use the car’s 360-degree camera system that provides an overhead view so they can line-up precisely with the unit
The charging station sends energy through the charging pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit that sits under the car close to the front axle. Charging power will be more than 40kW
The wireless charging test is one of a number of eco-related projects taking part in Gothenburg’s Green City Zone.
Commenting on the trial, Mats Moberg, head of R&D at Volvo Cars, said: ‘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.’
Volvo is playing a pivotal role in the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative, which aims to achieve emission-free transport by 2030.
‘Using a real city as a testing ground will enable the company to accelerate development of technologies and services in the areas of electrification, shared mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and safety,’ the Swedish auto maker says.