Volvo is rapidly moving towards becoming a fully electric car company. In its recent ‘Tech Moment’ event, it outlined how the next-gen electric Volvos will Have 1,000km of driving range with charging times halved.
A central component in any electric vehicle is its batteries, therefore Volvo now plans to bring its battery cell technology development and production closer to home, to better tailor its future batteries to the needs of its customers – who all want longer range and faster charging times.
It will do so by improving lithium-ion battery technology on its forthcoming second generation of electric cars, starting with the company’s first SUV, inspired by the Concept Recharge which is underpinned by a completely new electric-only platform.
In the near term, Volvo Cars plan to work with leading Swedish battery company Northvolt to further increase the energy density in its battery cells by up to 50 percent compared to what is on the market today. Later this decade, Volvo Cars also looks to break the 1000 Wh/liter energy density milestone, in order to achieve 1,000 kilometres of real driving range per charge.
Current charging times are expected to be slashed in half by 2025 – when they rollout their third-generation of electrified vehicles – thanks to better battery technology and continuous improvements to the software and fast-charging technology.
“We want to constantly increase the customer benefits of driving a pure electric Volvo car,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer. “By simplifying the design and integration of our battery cells, we can reduce weight and maximize space, allowing for considerable improvements in battery capacity, range and charging times.”
Battery cells from Volvo Cars’ planned collaboration with Northvolt aim to be produced using 100 percent renewable energy, while it is working with other battery suppliers to do the same by 2025. Volvo Cars have a clear strategy to further reduce the carbon impact of batteries by making better use of the valuable material contained in them. Wherever possible, it intends to remanufacture or reuse batteries and is also investigating potential second-life applications, such as energy storage.
Volvo Cars’ electrification roadmap is firmly focused on vertical integration, involving the in-house design, development, and production of batteries, e-motors, and relevant software in collaboration with strategic partners. Besides, cleaner and more powerful batteries, Volvo is also developing their power units that offer bi-directional charging, allowing customers to offload excess electricity in their car battery to the power grid.
The company has confirmed to the XC90 – which will largely be influenced by the Concept Recharge will offer this feature depending on the market.
Separately, Volvo Car Group has also announced a planned collaboration with Northvolt to develop and produce sustainable batteries. These will be tailored to power the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars and secure a future supply of sustainable batteries needed to support growth. The collaboration with Northvolt is key to Volvo Cars’ ambition to become a leader in the premium electric car segment and sell only pure electric vehicles by 2030.