Volvo is partnering with Belgian state-owned company Flanders’ Drive to develop an inductive charging system that will allow electric vehicles to be fueled wireless by a special plate integrated into a road’s surface.
A special projects team will start to convert a Volvo C30 Electric this month to be able to charge through an inductive system. The automaker notes that the special charging plate could be buried in a consumer’s driveway so that re-fueling could be as easy as parking.
The charging plate is made up of a coil that produces a magnetic field, which is then picked up from the car’s inductive system through alternating current. The energy is then converted to direct current through the car’s built-in voltage converter that charges the C30 Electric’s 24 kWh battery pack.
One of the biggest potential benefits is that Volvo expects to be able to fully charge the modified electric car in only a little over an hour. But implementation may still be a ways off as the company notes that while other manufacturers are conducting similar research, none have been able to create a finished product for public sale, nor have any standards been adapted that could simplify the process.