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Volvo Car participating in project to develop inductive charging for EVs; 20 kW system

Inductive charging schema. Source: Volvo. Click to enlarge.

Volvo Car Corporation is participating in an inductive charging project led by Belgian technological and development specialists Flanders’ Drive (owned by the Belgian state), along with bus manufacturer Van Hool, tram manufacturer Bombardier and others. (Earlier post.)

Volvo will deliver a C30 Electric to Flanders’ Drive on 19 May to be modified for inductive charging. The charging system to be evaluated is dimensioned for 20 kW; charging a battery pack of the size fitted to the Volvo C30 Electric, 24 kWh, is expected to take about an hour and twenty minutes, if the battery is entirely discharged.

In inductive charging, a charging plate is buried in the ground—e.g., in the driveway at home where the car is parked. The charging plate consists of a coil that generates a magnetic field. When the car is parked above the plate, energy from the plate is transferred without physical contact to the car’s inductive pick-up.

The energy that is transferred is alternating current. This is then converted into direct current in the car’s built-in voltage converter, which in turn charges the car’s battery pack.

The aim is naturally that it should be as convenient as possible to own and use an electric car.

—Johan Konnberg, project manager from the Special Vehicles division of Volvo Car Corporation

The project is designed to demonstrate, for a range of electric vehicles including trams, buses and cars:

  • High power transfer in both dynamic and stationary use;
  • Technical capabilities for road vehicles operating daily in an urban environment under real conditions and in all kinds of weather
  • Operational efficiency for dynamic charging;
  • System control and segment activation; and
  • System safety, with full compliance with all applicable codes and standards for electromagnetic compatibility.



If the 220v 30 amp single phase used in most U.S. homes could deliver 5 kWh through induction charging in the garages, then the commuter would have a very convenient system. No plugs to remember nor forget, just park it, the light comes on and it charges.


"Activation and identification" looks stupid on the picture. Shall be wireless automatic identification like Siemens-BMW development on inductive charging.


Most interesting charging method. Of course, the vehicle should automatically identify the user and charges be automatically made to his/her credit card or bank account. No handling, no connection problems and zero intervention by the driver/user.

Some units have already reached 96% efficiency.


Still haven't heard anything about a charging road, lay some cables in the road, run high frequency current through it and electric cars could be powered on the drive.


I think the major application for high power induction chargers will be public charging, if and when they can get some standards. The whole wireless point of use idea makes sense, like toll road transponders. If I were parking an EV in a public place, I would want the least hassles and best rates I could get.


This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.

I would think it would be a whole lot simpler to just stick an "electrical nozzle" into an "electrical tank" than to have to drive onto a specific location to charge your car.

Advice to Volvo: Your engineers would be better utilized working on improved performance of electric vehicles, than coming up with novelty items.


This is an extremely interesting initiative for me. All other initiatives being limited to ridiculous 3.7KW of slow charge, their are planned to fail as soon as next gen 50KWH batteries will replace current 24KWH standard, not mentionning when the dreamt 500M = 130KWH battery will come, requiring as much as 36H of change on 3.7KW against a perfect "overnight" 6.5H on 20KW. Plus could be used to fast recharge current 24KWH packs in 1.2H only.
This is a FUTURE PROOVED wireless charging investment, only type of things people should put their money on. Well done.


The difference is this nozzle goes in for hours every day, not minutes every week.


"This is an extremely interesting initiative for me. All other initiatives being limited to ridiculous 3.7KW of slow charge"

That is the limitation of the infrastructure found in US homes, 120V at 15A sockets.. further limited to 12A... about the power required by an hair blower and that may be an issue if the socket is old and worn out.

The Nissan EVSE is a 120V 12A unit, apparently it is designed for different markets and will easily handle 240V at 12A or perhaps even 15A with a simple modification. In any case most people drive 40 miles a day, 3300kw charging is perfectly adequate for most people. YOU may be the odd one out :)

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