Volvo Cars is working with partners to test wireless charging of electric cars: In Gothenburg, a small fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge cabs equipped with an inductive charging solution from Momentum Dynamics is now on the road.
The electric cars used by cab company Cabonline, can be charged at selected stations without cables. The trial phase is scheduled to last three years. According to Mats Moberg, head of research and development at Volvo Cars, the automaker and its partners hope to gain insights into “alternative charging options for our future electric vehicles.” During the test period, Volvo Cars will regularly collect data, as well as driver and customer feedback.
The charging technology comes from Momentum Dynamics and charges the electric XC40s at more than 40 kW. The charging process starts automatically as soon as a compatible electric car is parked over the charging pad embedded in the floor. In Gothenburg, Momentum Dynamics integrated this at several cab stands. Volvo claims “for optimal alignment” the 360-degree camera system to “perfectly park the vehicle on the charging unit.”
Since the vehicles are on the road more than twelve hours a day and cover 100,000 kilometres a year, it’s an accelerated endurance test for both electric cars and charging technology. It is not clear from the announcement which version of the XC40 is involved. Volvo offers the XC40 as a 300 kW all-wheel-drive model with a 78 kWh battery and the front-wheel-drive model with 170 kW and 70 kWh.
“Automated charging provides unlimited driving range for high intensity driving and our system enables Gothenburg cab drivers to stay in revenue service all day,” said Andy Daga, CEO of Momentum Dynamics. “This project perfectly outlines the automatic electric taxi charging model for any city looking to implement zero emission transportation as well as use by passenger vehicles.”
Cabonline and Momentum Dynamics are cooperating with other participants in the project, including Volvo Bil and Volvo Car Retail, Swedish retailers that are part of Volvo. Other partners include Vattenfall, a Swedish utility with its InCharge charging network; Gothenburg Energi, a municipal energy company; and Business Region Gothenburg, a municipal economic development agency for the city of Gothenburg.