Volvo is to run a three-year trial that will see a small fleet of electric XC40 taxis able to charge wirelessly at stations in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The project is part of the Gothenburg Green City Zone, under which designated areas within the city are used as live test beds for the development of sustainable technologies.
The charging stations, which will be used in the test by Cabonline, the largest taxi operator in the Nordic region, will be provided by Momentum Dynamics.
Charging starts automatically when a compatible vehicle parks over a charging pad embedded in the street, allowing drivers to conveniently charge without getting out of their car.
The charging station sends energy through the charging pad, which is picked up by a receiver unit in the car.
To align the car with the charging pad, Volvo Cars will use its 360-degree camera system.
For the fully electric XC40 Recharge cars, the wireless charging power will be more than 40kW, making the charging speeds around four times faster than a wired 11kW AC charger and almost as fast as a wired 50kW DC fast charger.
In total, the Volvo cars will be used for more than 12 hours a day and drive 100,000km per year, which also makes this the first durability test of fully electric Volvo cars in a commercial usage scenario.
Mats Moberg, head of research and development at Volvo Cars, said: “Gothenburg Green City Zone lets us try exciting new technologies in a real environment and evaluate them over time for a potential future broader introduction.
“Testing new charging technologies together with selected partners is a good way to evaluate alternative charging options for our future cars.”
Other partners involved in the wireless charging project include the company’s own Swedish retailers Volvo Bil and Volvo Car Sörred, Swedish energy company Vattenfall and its charging network InCharge, the city energy company Göteborg Energi, and Business Region Gothenburg, a municipal economic development agency owned by the City of Gothenburg.
Last year, Volvo took part in launching the Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative, which aims to achieve emission-free transport by 2030.
Using a real city as a testing ground, it says, enables the company to accelerate development of technologies and services in the areas of electrification, shared mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and safety.