Volvo completes research project on inductive charging for electric vehicles

Article by Christian A., on October 25, 2013

Volvo Car Group, along with a group of companies, has completed a research project on inductive charging for electric vehicles. Volvo has partnered with Flanders’ Drive, the knowledge centre of the automotive industry in the Flanders region in Belgium, Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool in this advanced research project to create technology for transferring energy through an electromagnetic field.

Lennart Stegland, Vice President, Electric Propulsion System at Volvo Car Group, said that there’s “great potential” in inductive charging, also known as cordless technology. He divulged that they have determined its safety, convenience, and effectiveness through their study.

He added that so far, there’s no common standard yet for this type of technology. This research will also continue and will assess how this technology can be used in its hybrid and electric car projects. An electromagnetic field is used in inductive charging to transfer energy between two objects. An induction coil creates an alternating electromagnetic field from a charging base station.

The portable device has a second induction coil that gets power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into an electrical energy to charge the battery. While this technology has already been seen in several home appliances like electrical toothbrushes, it’s not yet commercially available for the charging of electric cars.

Charging begins as soon as the car is positioned on top of a charging device. Stegland believes that this technology will boost the customer’s acceptance of electrified vehicles. This project also covered inductive charging for cars and buses. The Flemish government has partly funded this project. The car used for this inductive charging project is a Volvo C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120 hp). [source: Volvo]

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