High Performance Computing key enabler for accelerating development of high efficiency engines
PwC analysis finds meeting 2 °C warming target would require “unprecedented and sustained” reductions over four decades

Volvo Car Corporation testing 22 kW on-board three-phase charger; recharging time down to 1.5h

Volvo Car Corporation is testing a 22 kW, three-phase on-board charger for electric cars that cuts recharging time for a current EV down to 1.5 hours.

Click to enlarge.

The new charger will be installed and evaluated in a number of Volvo C30 Electric cars. The new 22 kW fast-charger is the first charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car. It offers the car owner two possibilities:

  • Using a three-phase outlet with 32A gives an 80 km range in 30 minutes. A full charge takes 1.5 hours.

  • Plugging into an ordinary single-phase 230 V household outlet gives a charging time of 8-10 hours, depending on the available current.

The user can “top up” the battery pack with electricity one or more times during the day. This means that the total daily range is significantly extended, yet with the same low operating cost compared to a car with a conventional power train. Giving customers more usable hours each day means that electric cars become more viable as a commercial proposition, in both the private and public sectors.

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



22 Kw charging gives about 1:1 driving / charging for easy motorway driving (say ~70 mph), so it is better than nothing, but not much use for a really long run.

the 1 - 1.5 hour recharge is a "dinner time" charge, rather than a "lunch" or a "cup of coffee" charge. You can only eat so many dinners in a day.

For reference, a petrol pump gives about 22 MW power transfer, so it is 1000x slower than filling up at a petrol station, hence the whole "range anxiety" thing - even if you have stations every 50 miles, you still have to spend an hour recharging each time.

HEVs and PHEVs don;t have this problem, of course.


Batteries and EVs are a very nerdy topic. The fact that the blog shills and the right wing politicians continue to hammer on this topic even today and so close to the election suggests that it is not simply an election topic. It is a serious threat to their masters empire. Oil is really frightened by this technology. Sure, there are huge amounts of the populous who can be easily confused via half-truth and pretzel logic, but not everyone. Costs are down, but not prices and so we know the car companies fear ut too.


The heart of the EV movement is a responsive battery. The last attempt to introduce EVs into our transportation system was shut down by Big Oil controlling the NiMH battery patent.

This time there is an automaker, Nissan, building EVs who is not tied to the Big Oil Group, The American Petroleum Institute, or the U.S. auto lobby group, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers(AAM). And, they build their own batteries.

We might have a chance this time, especially if Tesla will join in by building an affordable EV.

You know, if Toyota, or any member of The AAM for that matter, wanted to build EVs, they could do it immediately. All the major auto makers have EV prototypes. It's a matter of taking a chance on the future and telling their lobbying group to take a hike.

Yes, the future depends battery advances...that has been predicted to exceed a 10% increase in range and performance per year. Sooner or later, the EV requirements will meet your needs, then you may feel the time is right to enjoy driving a more trouble-free car.


Given current battery chemistries and the constraints of energy transfer via electricity, is it actually possible to ever build a battery that can be charged fully in less than 15 minutes?

How long do capacitors hold a charge for? Perhaps it would be easier to dump the charge rapidly into them and then transfer it more slowly to the battery for storage?


Batteries are just too useful to be kept down.  Graphene-silicon electrodes will find mass markets in electronics even if they never power a vehicle.  The products will exist and be sold at mass-market prices.

These things WILL find their way into vehicles, even if they have to be packaged into batteries by thousands of cells as Tesla has done.

Volvo's charger suggests that they're getting close to the performance of AC Propulsion's reductive system.  Someday, somebody will just decide to switch the motor's polyphase inverter system over to charging duty and the packaging problem disappears.


I think you need to think of the ratio of charging to driving at 75mph.
In my opinion, this should be <= 1:4 i.e. for every hour charging, you can drive for 4 hours. Thus, you could drive from 9-1 pm, lunch for 1 hour and drive on from 2pm to 6pm before charging again.

Say a car needs 25 Kw to drive at 75 mph, then you need a 100 Kw charger and charging circuit.

You need at 110 KwH battery for 4 hours driving, but could probably get away with say 55-60 Kw for a 150 mile, 2 hour drive at > 70 mph.

Either that, or you have a vehicle that is only useful for urban and suburban use.

(or get a Phev or HEV).


Then there are the cranks like me who think that e.g. capacitive coupling of power from the road eliminates the charging issue completely, but we're just a fringe.

The comments to this entry are closed.