Volvo launches 3-year EV wireless charging pilot in Sweden

Volvo launches 3-year EV wireless charging pilot in Sweden
Image: Volvo/Momentum Dynamics

The programme is to take place in Gothenburg with Volvo XC40 Recharge vehicles and Momentum Dynamics’ wireless charging technology.

The programme, part of the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative to test new zero emission transport technologies, will utilise a small fleet of fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge vehicles as taxis.

These taxis under the use of Cabonline, the largest taxi operator in the Nordic region, will be driven for more than 12 hours a day and 100,000 km per year. As such, it also marks the first durability demonstration of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial use scenario.

“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.

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“Testing new charging technologies together with selected partners is a good way to evaluate alternative charging options for our future cars.”

Momentum Dynamics’ wireless charging stations will be placed at two locations in Gothenburg. The inductive technology comprises a charging pad embedded in the road while the vehicle is fitted with a receiver pad – similar to the inductive charging process for today’s smartphones.

The technology, which has been in commercial use for more than four years on various types of EVs, is based on resonant magnetic induction in which power transfer takes place via a magnetic field.

The charging process starts automatically when the vehicle is parked over the pad and in practice charging will be partial rather than full, effectively reducing the rate of battery degradation and increasing its useful life.

During the test period, Volvo will regularly gather data as well as driver and customer feedback to find ways to further improve the charging experience. Drivers will be guided to the charging position with the onboard 360 camera.

Momentum Dynamics CEO Andy Daga says that automated charging provides unlimited driving range for high intensity driving and the system should enable Gothenburg cab drivers to stay in revenue service all day.

“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.”

Other partners involved in the wireless charging project include Volvo Cars’ Swedish dealership group Volvo Bil, Sweden-based energy company Vattenfall and its charging network InCharge, the municipal energy company Göteborg Energi and the municipal business development agency Business Region Gothenburg.

Momentum Dynamics is a US-based specialist in wireless technology for EVs.