Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Dr. Peter Mertens, senior vice president of research and development for Volvo Cars believes that the automotive industry worldwide, should focus on the introduction of a standardised charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV).

With that, the Swedish automaker has declared its full support behind the Charging Interface Initiative. Said initiative comprises of a consortium of stakeholders, which was founded to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the primary standard for charging EVs.

The CCS will have both regular and fast charging capabilities, offered. It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kW. This, along with a direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and 350 kW in the future – all available in a single system.

Currently, the Charging Interface Initiative is in the midst of drawing up requirements for the evolution of charging standards and certifications for use by automakers, worldwide.

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Meanwhile, Volvo also stated that it aims to offer a plug-in variant on each and every new model as it replaces its entire product line in the years to come. The company will have its first full EV by 2019, which will be based on the modular SPA architecture.

“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 tech 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,” Dr. Mertens stressed.

Mertens expressed his support behind the establishment of EV charging standards, “the lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” he concluded.