Volvo accelerates EV research projects

A week ago I wrote up a story about how Volvo is involved in multiple cutting edge low carbon transportation projects, despite not really having much of a green vehicle fleet yet. Now word comes of another undertaking the automaker is just now wrapping up which involves wireless electric vehicle charging.

The project Volvo was a contributor to involved the concept of inductive charging. This, according to them, makes use of

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.

Initiated by Flanders’ Drive, the so-called knowledge center of the automotive industry in the Flanders region in Belgium, the now completed research also involved Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool, among others. It was partly funded by the Flemish government, and the automaker’s contribution consisted of supplying a Volvo C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120 hp).

image via Volvo

“The tests demonstrated that our Volvo C30 Electric can be fully charged without a power cable in app. 2.5 hours,” said Lennart Stegland, Vice President, Electric Propulsion System at Volvo Car Group, in a statement. “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.”

Besides this, other cutting edge research Volvo has been involved in has included storage of energy in an EV’s body panels and embedding of power lines in roads to provide a constant source of energy to battery operated cars.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling