Volvo is testing a new wireless charging technology in a live city environment to evaluate its potential for future electric cars.
Over a three-year period, a small fleet of fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge cars will be used as taxis by Cabonline, the largest taxi operator in the Nordic region, and charged wirelessly at stations in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The wireless charging test is one of many projects outlined within the strategic initiative Gothenburg Green City Zone, under which designated areas within the city are used as live test beds for the development of sustainable technologies.
“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,” said Mats Moberg, head of research and development at Volvo Cars. “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 in the test are delivered by Momentum Dynamics, a leading provider of wireless electric charging systems. The charging starts automatically when a compatible vehicle parks over a charging pad embedded in the street, allowing drivers to conveniently charge without getting out of their car.
The charging station sends energy through the charging pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit in the car. 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 per year, which also makes this the first durability test of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial usage scenario.
Other partners involved in the wireless charging project include the company’s own Swedish retailers Volvo Bil and Volvo Car Sörred, Swedish energy company Vattenfall and its charging network InCharge, the city energy company Göteborg Energi, and Business Region Gothenburg, a municipal economic development agency owned by the City of Gothenburg.
Last year, Volvo Cars took part in launching 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.