Volvo Cars calls on automotive industry to standardize electric car charging
Volvo Cars believes the global automotive industry should strive towards the introduction of a standardized charging infrastructure for electric cars, says Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s Senior Vice President for Research & Development.
To support this drive towards a global standard for electric car charging, Volvo Cars has decided to throw its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium of stakeholders that was founded to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered vehicles.
Volvo Cars is one of the leading makers of plug-in hybrid cars and will offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every new model as it replaces its entire product portfolio in the coming years. It will introduce a fully electric vehicle by 2019, based on its modular SPA vehicle architecture.
In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr Mertens argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.
“We see that a shift towards fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place,” said Dr. Mertens. “But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardised charging system is sorely needed.”
The Combined Charging System, which will offer both regular and fast charging capabilities, makes electric car ownership increasingly practical and convenient – especially in urban environments which are ideal for electric vehicles.
It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kilowatts (kW), as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and the future possibility of up to 350 kW – all in a single system.
The Charging Interface Initiative is currently in the process of drawing up requirements for the evolution of charging-related standards and certification for use by car makers around the globe.
“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” said Dr. Mertens.
Volvo Cars, which has a rich heritage of research and development in electric vehicles stretching back over 40 years, is one of the leading car makers in the field of plug-in hybrids with its Twin Engine technology. Already now, one in five of all Volvo XC90s sold is a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid.
“Our Twin Engine technology offers the low emissions, silence, convenience and performance of a pure electric car, combined with the range of a conventional powertrain. It offers the benefits of electrification already today,” added Dr. Mertens.
Nordic model offers the rest of world a template for autonomous driving: Volvo CEO
Sweden’s famed Nordic Model, which brings together the public sector, private sector and academia, provides a template for the rapid introduction of autonomous driving technologies worldwide, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, will say at a seminar on autonomous driving in Sweden this week.
“Autonomous driving has the potential to revolutionize car safety. This technology saves lives. AD also improves traffic flows, enhances air quality and saves people time. This technology should be introduced as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to get everyone involved working together at the earliest opportunity,” Mr Samuelsson will say.
Mr Samuelsson’s comments will be made at a high level seminar in Stockholm on March 10 at the Swedish parliament entitled ‘A Future with Self Driving Cars – Threat or Opportunity?’, which will bring together Volvo Cars, Autoliv, the Swedish car safety supplier company, Chalmers, the leading Swedish technology and engineering university, leading commentators on AD technology and senior Swedish politicians.
Mr Samuelsson will welcome moves by regulators and car makers in the US and Europe to develop AD cars and infrastructure, but he will encourage all the parties involved to work more constructively together to avoid patchwork regulations, technological duplication and needless expense.
“AD is not just about car technology. We need the right roads, the right rules and the right laws. We also need to ensure AD technologies are harmonized as much as possible to avoid unnecessary development costs, so that an AD car in the US is as safe and as legal as an AD car in Europe or Asia,” Mr Samuelsson will say.
Both Europe and the US have made important strides towards encouraging AD technologies. But the EU remains hamstrung by individual responsibilities to its 28 members while the US is similarly constrained by the potential for all 50 US states to introduce their own AD regulations.
Sweden has enjoyed a long tradition of functioning relationships between the public and private sectors, something that has enhanced productivity, avoided industrial disputes and led to the rapid and effective introduction of rules, regulations and infrastructure to support new technologies. This system has become known as the Nordic Model
“It is natural for us to work together,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “Our starting point is that both the public and private sectors stand to benefit from new technologies and industries, so it is better to build bridges and work together than to all go in different directions.”
Volvo Cars is working with public and private sector partners on the world’s largest and most advanced public AD technology project entitled ‘Drive Me’, which involves 100 real Swedish families in Gothenburg using AD cars on real roads.
Volvo is currently working alongside Autoliv, Chalmers, the national Swedish government and the local government in Gothenburg on this project.
“From the outset we knew that we could not do it alone,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “We needed to bring partners on board. Our motivation for doing so is simple. This is a technology that can save lives, clean the air, make cities less congested and free up time for people. Who would not want that in place as soon as possible?”
Volvo has been leading the when it comes to the regulation of autonomous driving. Mr Samuelsson stated in the US last year that Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode, making it one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise.
Volvo regards autonomous driving as a key element in drive to implement its Vision 2020, which states that by the year 2020, no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.
Stand by for Atlantic Thriller to Cardiff
- Wales chosen as transatlantic stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
- Debut visit to Wales for world’s leading offshore race
- Event returns to the UK for first time in over a decade
ALICANTE, Spain, March 3 - Cardiff has been chosen as the destination for the first Volvo Ocean Race transatlantic leg to the United Kingdom in 12 years, when the world’s leading offshore race makes its debut visit to Wales in 2018.
The transatlantic leg is traditionally one of the nine-month event’s biggest highlights and toughest tests for sailors in often challenging conditions.
At a press conference, Adolfo Rodríguez from the Volvo Ocean Race joined Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, and the City of Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bale, to announce that Cardiff had been chosen as the transatlantic stopover, when the race will visit from May 25-June 10.
Sailors will leave Newport, Rhode Island, U.S., on May 20 and will cover approximately 2,900 nautical miles until they reach Cardiff.
The leg will start in Newport, which made a hugely successful debut as the race’s only North American stopover in May 2015. It was reselected to host a stopover in the next edition from May 8, with the in-port race on May 19.
Sail Newport executive director Brad Read, who played a leading role in Newport’s stopover, said: “Newport hosted the most successful North American stopover in the history of the race and Rhode Island will be ready again with an enthusiastic family-friendly public festival and celebration in May 2018.
“We are thrilled that the race will connect Newport with Cardiff and the North Atlantic leg between our cities could break the 24-hour speed record in the fierce conditions,” said Read, who is the Newport stopover director.
Other stopovers already announced for the 2017-18 edition include Alicante (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Auckland (New Zealand), Lisbon (Portugal) and Gothenburg (Sweden).
Antonio Bolaños López, acting CEO, Volvo Ocean Race, said: “The transatlantic race between Newport and Cardiff promises to be one of the real highlights of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
“The event is returning to the United Kingdom for the first time in 12 years, but this is the first time our world-class fleet will have visited Wales, despite the country’s rich seafaring tradition.
“Cardiff’s harbor will make the perfect backdrop for our boats, which will follow after what we expect to be another highly successful stopover in Newport.”
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, said: “It is excellent news that Wales has been chosen as the transatlantic stopover for this prestigious race. The Volvo Ocean Race is a truly global event and this stopover will be valuable in raising Wales’ profile on the world stage.
“Being a transatlantic stopover will give us added benefits of increased global media coverage and will be an excellent opportunity to look at key business opportunities in the U.S.
“The Volvo Ocean Race’s arrival in Cardiff will mark another historic milestone in Wales’ rise as an outstanding destination for world-class events.”
Following a competitive bidding process in 2012, Cardiff, with the support of the Welsh Government, was awarded the right to host a stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. It will be the only race stopover in the UK.