STUDY: Cordless charging the future?
Technology for cordlessly charging electric vehicles has a promising future, a research project involving Volvo has shown.
Volvo have been a partner in an advanced research study exploring the possibilities of inductive charging for electric vehicles.
This involves transferring energy via an electromagnetic field.
Lennart Stegland, Vice President of the Electric Propulsion System at Volvo Car Group, said: “Inductive charging has great potential.
“Cordless technology is a comfortable and effective way to conveniently transfer energy.
“The study also indicates that it is safe.
“There is not yet any common standard for inductive charging.
“We will continue our research and evaluate the feasibility of the technology in our hybrid and electric car projects.”
Inductive charging uses an electromagnetic field instead of a cord to transfer energy between two objects.
An induction coil creates an alternating electromagnetic field from a charging base station.
A second induction coil in the portable device picks up power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into an electrical energy that charges the battery.
This technology is common in electrical home appliances such as electrical toothbrushes but is not yet commercially available to charge electric cars.
“With inductive charging, you simply position the car over a charging device and charging starts automatically,” added Mr Stegland.
“We believe that this is one of the factors that can increase the customer’s acceptance of electrified vehicles.”
The completed research project, which included inductive charging for cars and buses, was initiated by Flanders’ Drive, Belgium, the knowledge centre of the automotive industry.
It featured a consortium of companies, including Volvo Car Group, Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool.
Volvo supplied the car for the inductive charging project: a C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120hp).
“The tests demonstrated that our Volvo C30 Electric can be fully charged without a power cable in approximately 2.5hours,” added Mr Stegland.
“In parallel with this, we have also conducted research into slow and regular charging together with Inverto, which was also a partner in the project.”