Malcolm Flynn | Nov 7, 2012

Volvo is testing a new mobile quick-charge system for EV models, which promises to reduce existing charge times to 1.5 hours.

The new system relies on a 400V three-phase power supply - like several other EV options - but Volvo’s unit is the first to be made compact enough to be mounted within the vehicle.

Existing three-phase systems require hard-wiring via a wall mount, and are therefore only practical for home use.

Volvo claims that the new system can provide 80km worth of charge in just 30 mins, with a full charge taking just 1.5 hours.

The system is also compatible with 240V single-phase power, extending full-charge times to approximately 8-10 hours.

Volvo claims that its three-phase system is more suited to top-up charging, which can extend an EV’s total daily range significantly.

“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”, Volvo’s EV division boss Lennart Stegland said.

“We know that short recharging times and extensive operating range are a necessity for potential electric car consumers.”

Locally, three-phase power points are currently generally found at Better Place charge points and some industrial sites, but can easily be installed for residential use.

Volvo’s claims for the new system are all based on the EV drivetrain used by its C30 Electric model, currently available for lease in Europe.

The system will be installed in several of these C30 Electrics and evaluated for its production potential.

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