Volvo starts testing wireless EV charging with XC40 Recharge taxis

Volvo Cars has announced a new trial for an EV wireless charging technology at the Gothenburg Green City Zone in Sweden, to evaluate its potential use for future electric cars.

The trial will take place over three years, and will involve a small fleet of slightly-modified fully-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge taxis operated by Cabonline, the largest taxi operator in the Nordic region.

The charging stations used in the trial are delivered by Momentum Dynamics, an American company specialising in wireless electric charging systems. The charging pads are embedded in the streets, and will automatically begin charging when a compatible vehicle is parked over the pads.

Volvo says that the wireless charging receiver unit, installed underneath the cars, can accept charging powers of over 40 kW. That makes it around four times faster than a standard wired 11 kW AC charger, and almost as fast as a wired 50 kW DC fast charger.

RELATED: Volvo is turning its hometown in Sweden into a climate-neutral city by 2030

Interestingly, Momentum Dynamics’s website says that their wireless EV chargers can provide up to 450 kW, although we’re guessing that it’s still under technical development at the moment.

In total, the Volvo XC40 Recharge taxi cars will be used for more than 12 hours a day, and driven over 100,000 km per year, which also makes this the “first durability test of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial usage scenario”.

360-degree surround view monitor helps the driver align the car correctly to the charging pads.

The wireless charging test is one of many projects outlined within the Gothenburg Green City Zone strategic initiative, under 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,” Volvo Cars head of R&D, Mats Moberg. “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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