Alongside Belgian technological and development specialists Flanders' Drive and others, Volvo is developing systems and methods that will not require power sockets or charging cables. Inductive charging allows for the wireless transfer of power to charge the battery, via a charging plate which can be buried in the road surface.
"The aim is naturally that it should be as convenient as possible to own and use an electric car," explains Johan Konnberg, project manager from the Special Vehicles division of Volvo Car Corporation.
Flanders' Drive will take delivery of a Volvo C30 Electric on 19th May 2011 which will receive modifications for inductive charging. The handover will also officially mark the start of the project, which will be named CED (Continuous Electric Drive). Volvo Car Corporation and Flanders' Drive, which is owned by the Belgian state, other participants include bus manufacturer Van Hool and tram manufacturer Bombardier.
With inductive charging, a charging plate will be buried in the ground, this could be on a driveway or in a garage. The charging works by a electrical coil which produces a magnetic field, allowing energy to be transferred without physical contact with the car. A built in voltage converter will convert the charging plate's alternating current into the direct current required to charge the car's battery pack. Utilising this technology, a completely discharged battery in the Volvo C30 Electric can be recharged in around 80 minutes.
"There is not yet any common standard for inductive charging," says Johan Konnberg. "One aspect of this project is to integrate this technology into the road surface and to take energy directly from there to power the car. This is a smart solution that is some way into the future,"
The Volvo C30 Electric, part of Volvo's electrification strategy as a range of up to 150 kilometres per charge with zero CO2 emissions. Deliveries of the initial 250 cars to selected customers in Europe will begin in the second half of 2011.Published 19 May 2011