Swedish auto maker Volvo is integrating and testing a new wireless charging technology in a live city environment together with selected partners, evaluating its potential for use in future electric cars.
Over a three-year period, a small fleet of fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge models 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 several projects included in Gothenburg’s Green City Zone initiative, in 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 are supplied by Momentum Dynamics, a developer 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, providing charging at a rate of 40kW, making the charging speeds around four times faster than a fixed 11kW AC charger.
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.