Taking electric vehicles into the next phase, Volvo is testing charging stations embedded in roads.
Removing power sockets and charging cables, Volvo is developing wireless charging stations for a new line of electric cars. Using inductive charging, Volvo is exploring wireless transfer of energy to car batteries via charging plates buried in roads.
The official name of the project, Continuous Electric Drive (CED) began testing last May with Volvo’s technology partner, Flanders’ Drive. The Volvo C30 Electric vehicle is being retrofitted for inductive charging.
How It Works: For inductive charging to work, a charging plate is buried in the ground at a location where the car can be parked, such as a driveway or parking garage. A magnetic field is generated by a coil within the plate that transfer energy to the battery without physical contact. The transferred energy is an alternating current that is converted into direct current via the car’s built-in voltage converter. This then charges the car’s battery pack. Volvo estimates that the C30 could be fully charged within one and half hours.
The Volvo C30, with become available in Europe in late 2011 followed by a US release in 2012. The first round of C30’s will be equipped with current plug-in charging technology.