Volvo is currently testing new wireless charging technology to establish if the ground-breaking process should be pursued as part of its electrification strategy.
Over the next three years a small number of XC40 Recharge models will be used as taxis by Cabonline – the largest operator of its kind in Sweden – and charged wirelessly at stations in Gothenburg.
In the first durability test of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial environment, the SUVs will be used for more than 12 hours a day and drive 62,500 miles each year.
The charging stations used in the test are built by wireless electric charging systems manufacturer Momentum Dynamics. Charging begins automatically when a compatible vehicle parks over a pad embedded in the street, “allowing drivers to conveniently charge without getting out of their car”.
Energy is sent from the charging station to the pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit on the car. To ensure it car is correctly positioned for the process to begin, the XC40 Recharge cars use a 360-degree camera system.
Volvo says for the 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 fast charger.
“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.”
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, said Moberg.
Other partners involved in the wireless charging project include the company’s own Swedish retailers Volvo Bil and Volvo Car Sorred, Swedish energy company Vattenfall and its charging network InCharge.