Electrification of cars is happening at a much rapid pace than expected and for sure such vehicles promise a much better future. The most evident thing about an hybrid or pure electric car would be the charging method wherein a cord is used to draw electricity from a regular sized socket. However in today’s time when cordless charging is taking over the conventional method in smartphones, why can’t it be used for cars?
Volvo has been doing exactly the same for quite some time now. The major has been a partner in an advanced research project focused on finding the possibilities of inductive charging technology for electric vehicles and as per the brand this technology holds a promising future.
“Inductive charging has great potential. Cordless technology is a comfortable and effective way to conveniently transfer energy. The study also indicates that it is safe,” says Lennart Stegland, Vice President, Electric Propulsion System at Volvo Car Group, and adds: “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.”
Inductive charging or cordless charging uses an electromagnetic field instead of a cord to transfer energy from object to the other. An induction coil generates an alternating electromagnetic field from a charging base station – which in this case would be the source. The second induction which is fitted in the device to be charged draws power from the alternating electromagnetic field and converts it into usable electrical energy which charges the battery.
“With inductive charging, you simply position the car over a charging device and charging starts automatically. We believe that this is one of the factors that can increase the customer’s acceptance of electrified vehicles,” says Lennart Stegland.
The research was initiated by Flanders’ Drive, the knowledge centre of the automotive industry based in Belgium. A part of the project funding came from the Flemish government. During the study Volvo Car Group supplied a Volvo C30 Electric model with a rated output of 120 hp.
“The tests demonstrated that our Volvo C30 Electric can be fully charged without a power cable in app. 2.5 hours. In parallel with this, we have also conducted research into slow and regular charging together with Inverto, which was also a partner in the project,” says Lennart Stegland.
Volvo is heading towards more electrified vehicles and I am sure they will be successful enough in bringing some outstanding products.