Volvo Attempts Wireless Charging Of Electric Cars

A consortium of transportation companies that gathered in Flanders, Belgium has successfully charged an electric car without plugging it in.

Contributors to the study included Bombardier Transportation and Van Hool, who see wireless charging as a way to reduce the downtime of buses. Volvo, becoming further invested in electric propulsion for passenger cars, thinks such an innovation would reduce the barrier of "inconvenience" consumers associate with electric vehicles.

The primary test mule was an electric 89kW Volvo C30— which recharged in two and half hours via a conductor connected to the electric grid.

Volvo Attempts Wireless Charging Of Electric Cars

As explained by Volvo:

Inductive charging uses an electromagnetic field instead of a cord to transfer energy between two objects. An induction coil creates an alternating electromagnetic field from a charging base station. A second induction coil in the portable device picks up power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into an electrical energy that charges the battery. This technology is common in electrical home appliances such as electrical toothbrushes but is not yet commercially available to charge electric cars.

Volvo Attempts Wireless Charging Of Electric Cars

Applying this kind of technology to a real-world infrastructure seems wrought with political and economic hurdles, but Volvo is clearly confident enough to invest substantial R&D and cultivate partnerships to push toward development. Though I'm not sure what's going on with their illustration department, I don't think those giant bell-bottoms have been common in Sweden since the glory days of ABBA.