Charging our smartphones today is now easier than ever. Depending on the model, sometimes you don’t even need to use a charging cable. Instead, a wireless charging pad can do the trick. It’s also why automakers offer wireless charging pads as a feature on some of their vehicles. But what if you could use the same technology for charging electric vehicles? That’s what Volvo is trying out.
The Swedish marque is currently developing wireless charging technology for EVs by using a small fleet of XC40 Recharge taxis. Volvo says testing will be held over three years, and the vehicles will be charged wirelessly at charging stations in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Volvo is working with Momentum Dynamics, a leading provider of wireless electric charging systems, for the test. The system works similarly to wireless charging in smartphones. Compatible EVs will drive over a charging pad embedded in the street, and the charging starts automatically. As a result, the driver can sit comfortably inside without having to get out of the vehicle and plug in a charger.
To easily align the EV with the charging pad, Volvo cars will use its 360-degree camera system. In addition, the automaker says the charging pad will be able to provide up to 40kW for the XC40 Recharge. For comparison, that is four times faster charging speeds than a wired 11kW AC charger and almost as quick as a wired 50kW DC fast charger.
Volvo did not provide a timeline for when the wireless EV charging pad could be deployed. Considering the testing period will be held for three years, it might not happen anytime soon. Still, the idea of a wireless charging pad for EVs is great and could convince others to make the switch.