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Volvo Car Corporation, Ericsson and partners in plug-in vehicle smart on-board charging research project

Volvo Car Corporation, Ericsson, the utility company Göteborg Energi and the Viktoria Institute are collaborating in the research project ELVIIS (Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure) to develop a concept for using intelligent infrastructure for the smart on-board charging of plug-in vehicles.

The new architecture allows drivers to control charging of cars while plugged into any ordinary power outlet. The outlet is identified via GPS, and the driver sets the time and amount to charge on a console in the car or remotely via a smartphone or tablet. Using the mobile network, the car then communicates with the grid and sets the charging scheme in order to support optimal utilization of the grid and most favorable energy price. The system directs the cost for each charge to the car owner’s personal utility bill.

Any unintended interruption of charging process is directly reported to the driver’s mobile phone.

The concept is being developed on a generic communication platform to make the technology globally applicable.

The project concept was first initiated by Viktoria Institute in November 2008 in a meeting with Göteborg Energi. The idea was suggested to Ericsson and Volvo Cars some months later. The first meeting with all partners was held in April 2009 where the project idea was further developed. The pre-study project was initially funded by the partners followed by funding by Region Västra Götaland and Göteborg Energi Research Foundation.

The ELVIIS-project has the following sub goals:

  • To identify cross-industry barriers for large scale market penetration of electric vehicles.

  • To identify the demands and possibilities an intelligent infrastructure creates regarding functionality for the user.

  • To identify new business opportunities and technical solutions for power suppliers, the car industry and telecom service.

  • To define scalable system architecture for an intelligent infrastructure for electric vehicles, that is suitable for an international market.

  • To develop suitable services, like billing and charging, and implement them on the platform.

The Volvo C30 Electric has been used as a test car in the project. Equipped with an integrated 7-inch color touch screen, it makes the smooth charging concept available at the driver’s fingertip. Five C30 Electric cars will now be used for testing and evaluating the technology during a year.

Volvo says that the ELVIIS technology is fully in line with its development of Sensus interface technology.

Sensus is the interface that promotes intuitive communication with the car, connecting it to the driver’s digital world. We will continue to extend the offer of intelligent content that provides easy access to support, information and entertainment.

—Lennart Stegland, Vice President Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Corporation

Göteborg Energi, the leading utility in western Sweden, is interested in the digitalization of the charging infrastructure, and the strategies and possibilities it creates.

Ericsson’s contribution to the project is to understand and influence how existing and future mobile networks, services and terminals can support new business concepts as well as services that benefit society. Ericsson is providing IT and communications expertise for the project.

The project has been financed by the four partners as well as the region of Västra Götaland and the research foundation of Göteborg Energi.

The specially equipped Volvo Electric C30 will be on display at Ericsson’s Hall 6 at LaFira during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from 27 - 29 February 2012.



Schender Electric is offering new Level II wall mounted chargers for $799 or less. Those chargers are small enough to be mounted on-board an electrified vehicle. Similar chargers will probably be available at $300 by 2015.

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