It probably won’t be long before the 1000 km of range target for electric cars becomes a reality as Volvo brings battery development and production closer to home and sets a goal of adapting the batteries of the future to the needs of its customers: greater autonomy and shorter charging times.
The Swedish automaker will do this by improving lithium-ion battery technology in the upcoming second generation of its electric cars, starting with the company’s first SUV based on new pure electric technology.
Volvo also plans to further improve autonomy and integrate the battery into the car floor, using the battery structure to increase rigidity overall and improve the economy.
In the short term, the plans include working with leading Swedish battery company Northvolt to further increase the energy density in its batteries by up to 50% compared to what is currently on the market. Later in the current decade, Volvo also plans to exceed the 1000 Wh/l energy density milestone in order to achieve real autonomy of 1000 km (621 miles).
Current charging times are expected to be cut by almost half by the middle of the decade, thanks to better battery technology and continued improvements in fast charging software and technology.
As Volvo evolves into a pure electric car company, sustainability is becoming more and more important. The aim is to increase the energy of batteries in its cars over the past decade, while continuing to work to reduce its carbon footprint.
The aim of Volvo’s upcoming partnership with Northvolt is for batteries to be produced using energy from 100% renewable sources, while the Swedish company is working with other battery suppliers to achieve the same by 2025.
The company also aims to rebuild or reuse batteries, while also exploring the possibility of second-life applications, such as energy storage. Volvo Car Group’s partnership with Northvolt will also give greater potential to use the battery company’s existing recycling functions.
Already with the upcoming new SUV, Volvo will offer two-way charging, allowing customers to pump the extra electricity of their car’s battery into the power grid.