Volvo Cars tests new wireless charging technology

A small fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge crossovers will be used in a three-year program to test the merits of wireless charging “in a live city environment.”

The XC40 Recharge fleet, set to be run as taxis by the Nordic region’s largest taxi operator, Cabonline, and select wireless charging stations across Gothenburg, Sweden, will both be outfitted by specialist Momentum Dynamics. Rather than relying on the conventional port and cable, charging begins automatically when a specially equipped XC40 Recharge parks over a charging pad embedded in the ground. The ‘station’ then sends a signal to the receiver underneath the vehicle and the energy transfer begins with no driver involvement required.

Notably, these wireless chargers will operate at more than 40 kW, almost as high as the rate of 50kW DC fast-chargers and around four times quicker than a conventional, 11 kW Level 2 connection. Typically, topping up a XC40 Recharge, a facelifted version of which was recently unveiled, from 10 to 80 per cent will take around 40 minutes via a DC fast-charge.

The single-motor XC40 Recharge used for this program utilizes a 67 kWh lithium-ion battery compared with the slightly larger 75 kWh example on the dual-motor Recharge Twin.

Volvo taxi trials

Volvo Cars tests new wireless charging technology

Volvo has also confirmed that the XC40 Recharge taxi fleet will be used for more than 12 hours per day and are expected to cover 100,000 km per year in one of the biggest EV-focused endurance tests for the Swedish brand yet.

The Swedish brand’s collaboration with Cabonline is also one of the latest steps in the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative, which aims to achieve emission-free transport across the city by 2030.

Read more: Volvo adds single-motor C40, unveils facelifted XC-40

“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,” Volvo Head of R&D Mats Moberg explains in an official statement. “Testing new charging technologies together with selected partners is a good way to evaluate alternative charging options for our future cars.”

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