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Volvo Wants to Cut EV Recharging Times by 30 Percent

Volvo EV structure | Photo: Volvo
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Daniel Rufiange
The next arms race in the EV sector could center around recharging times

Volvo aims to offer an all-electric range by 2030. To win over consumers, the company wants to be able to make them an offer they can’t refuse: significantly reduced recharging time. 

For many potential EV buyers, charging times remain a hurdle. We know those times will improve in the coming years, but for some, right now they’re still too long. 

The Swedish automaker is investing in London-based Breathe Battery Technologies (BBT) to help make that concern go away.

BBT has developed battery management software that it claims can reduce the recharging time of an electric-vehicle battery by 15-30 percent (for the common measure of how long it takes to go from 10 to 80 percent).

Volvo Adaptive Charging
Volvo Adaptive Charging | Photo: Volvo

The fledgling company’s software uses adaptive charging, which adjusts charging current in real time and increases recharging speed, explains Automotive News, which reports the news. 

Volvo explains that “Adaptive charging pushes the battery harder when it's new and performing, and dynamically adapts as the battery ages to protect its health.”

BBT says its software manages the recharging process to avoid the risk of lithium plating, a phenomenon that occurs when a lithium-ion battery cell is subjected to stress when constantly charged at high power. Needle-shaped nanoscopic formations, called dendrites, develop and, over time, can puncture the separator, causing a short circuit in batteries that use conventional liquid-based electrolytes.

According to Volvo, the technology can be integrated into existing batteries and no new additional raw materials would be needed for the batteries.

And here's where it gets interesting. According to Volvo, the faster recharging capability will enable the use of a smaller battery, which will reduce the cost and weight of the vehicle, while improving its efficiency.

Volvo has also invested in Israeli firm StoreDot, currently developing a technology that could enable electric vehicles to regain 160 km of range in just two minutes. The goal is to have this technology up and running by 2032. 

If that comes to pass, regaining the range needed to get to your destination will require no more time than a stop at the pump. 

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists