According to Volvo Cars Senior Vice President (SVP) for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Peter Mertens, the global automotive industry needs to introduce a standardized charging infrastructure specifically made for electric vehicles (EV).
In line with this, Volvo Cars has thrown its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, which has been founded as a consortium of investors to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging EVs.
Being one of the leading producers of plug-in hybrids, Volvo Cars plan to offer a plug-in hybrid version of every forthcoming model as it gradually modifies its entire portfolio in the years to come. Based on its modular SPA vehicle design, Volvo Cars will launch a fully EV in 2019.
Dr. Mertens believes that a standardized, universal charging infrastructure is needed in response to the growth of the EV segment, ensuring that customers around the world will use the new technology. He explained that the shift toward fully EVs is slowly materializing.
However, being ready in that aspect does not mean that the charging infrastructure is also at the same pace. This is why a globally standardized charging system needs to be established in the automotive industry. The CCS will provide regular and fast-charging capabilities, making vehicle ownership practical and convenient all at the same time particularly in urban areas, which are perfect for EVs.
The technology combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging. It uses alternating current at a maximum of 43 kW and a direct current at a maximum of 200kW. This is even expected to increase up to 350 kW in the long run.
Meanwhile, the Charging Interface Initiative is in the process of drawing up certification for use by all car makers and requirements for the evolution of charging standards. Dr. Mertens expressed that Volvo Cars is honored to be a part of such efforts to revolutionize the standards in the automotive industry for the modern era.
The lack of charging-related standards has always been a barrier to the development and progress of EVs around the world. With its rich heritage of EV R&D efforts that can be traced back to over 40 years ago, Volvo Cars has always been one of the most prominent car makers specializing in plug-in hybrids with its Twin Engine system.
Presently, one out of five Volvo XC90 models sold around the world is a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. Dr. Mertens elaborated that Volvo Cars' Twin Engine technology, together with a conventional powertrain range, provides the benefits of a genuine EV with its silence, low emissions, convenience, and superb performance.