Volvo wants the global car industry to standardise charging infrastructure for electric cars. The Swedish company – which is set for a major increase in plug-in models within its model range – believes the move would benefit manufacturers and customers alike.
With these calls, Volvo has backed the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium that was founded to create the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard charging set-up for plug-in vehicles. As a key manufacturer of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), the company has some weight behind its backing as Volvo will introduce a PHEV variant for every new model as it replaces and expands its portfolio.
The XC90, S90 and V90 are all confirmed production models which help carry out this aim, while a new compact platform will enable the electrification of the company’s 40 and 60 series models. In 2019 Volvo will also introduce a pure-electric vehicle.
Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research & Development at Volvo, said: “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. 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 reason behind Volvo’s backing of the CCS set-up is that it will be able to offer both fast and rapid charging capabilities. Using single-phase or rapid three-phase charging, it can charge using AC at up to 43 kW, or DC at a maximum of 200 kW, while in the future it is expected that 350kW charging will be a possibility.
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.