A lot of factors play into an electric-vehicle's charging time, but a general rule is that the higher the on-board charger, the shorter that time will be. The on-board charger in the first-generation Nissan Leaf was 3.3 kW. The upgraded second-generation could use a 6.6 kW charger. On the new, third-edition Smart ED, there's a 22-kW charger. Today, Volvo announced a new 22-kW fast-charger for the C30 Electric that "operates on three-phase supplies and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car." Volvo says this is the world's first three-phase, on-board charger. This helps reduce the charging time to completely refill an empty pack in an average EV from eight-to-10 hours to just 90 minutes, when used with a 400-volt, three-phase outlet with 32 amps. The new charger will be tested in some C30 Electrics.

Volvo's vice president of electric propulsion systems, Lennart Stegland, said in a statement that, "We know that short recharging times and extensive operating range are a necessity for potential electric car consumers. The fast-charging unit helps cure what is known as 'range anxiety' since the car can be more easily recharged during the day. And even if you don't have enough time for a 1.5-hour charge, plugging in for just 30 minutes will give you enough power for another 80 kilometres of driving." That's not quite Tesla Model S Supercharger territory (which uses 90-kW chargers), but it is impressive.
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Volvo Car Corporation cuts electric car recharging time to 1.5 hours

Volvo Car Corporation is testing a new fast-charger for electric cars that cuts recharging time to an outstanding 1.5 hours. The fast-charger operates six times faster than today's on-board devices.

"We know that short recharging times and extensive operating range are a necessity for potential electric car consumers. The fast-charging unit helps cure what is known as 'range anxiety' since the car can be more easily recharged during the day. And even if you don't have enough time for a 1.5-hour charge, plugging in for just 30 minutes will give you enough power for another 80 kilometres of driving," says Lennart Stegland, Vice President Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Corporation.

World's first three-phase on-board charger

The new charger will be installed and evaluated in a number of Volvo C30 Electric cars. The new 22 kW fast-charger is the world's first charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car. It offers the car owner two possibilities:
  • Using a three-phase outlet with 32A gives an 80 km range in 30 minutes. A full charge takes 1.5 hours.
  • Plugging into an ordinary single-phase 230 V household outlet gives a charging time of 8-10 hours, depending on the available current.
"The user can 'top up' the battery pack with electricity one or more times during the day. This means that the total daily range is significantly extended, yet with the same low operating cost compared to a car with a conventional power train," says Lennart Stegland. "Giving customers more usable hours each day means that electric cars become more viable as a commercial proposition, in both the private and public sectors."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Volvo says this is the world's first three-phase, on-board charger" This is FALSE. There are hundreds of vehicle with three-phase on-board chargers in Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden as well (take a look at Göteborg) since at least 2005. Why should Volvo cheat so easily?
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is a infinity of possible combinaisons of voltage, amps, power, connector, phasing and onboard or outboard chargers. If i understand all the major plug-in have different incompatible norms actually. Someone that want to construct a fast charging station would have to install 5 or 6 different fast charger system to be compatible with all the bevs on the market so 6 x the cost instead of just one fast charger. I guess that big oil stocks will see a 1% increase today because of this article. We are still in an experimental market instead of an early market. I won't buy anything new and im not still sure if i will buy a used green car in 2022 when i gonna be ready to change my actual 2005 gasoline car. Till then i drive slow and not so often with a 4 cylinder car with manual transmission at 55 to 60 mph with regular gasoline that often is written that this gasoline might contain 10% dirty ethanol. I know this is polluting and costly and even if i made numerous good buying bids, then the market is still in a dangeurous infancy and nothing show that it will be sustainable someday. Today almost all the green tech products are not making money. If it continue like that manufacturers will stop producing green technology and gas prices will increase. Please mormalise all fast chargers now and also begin commercialisation of hydrogen cars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They know their market. 400V three-phase is common in European households and almost universally available at workplaces. Cure range anxiety indeed. Being able to recharge the range spent on your morning commute before the first coffee break or during after-work grocery shopping ought to make this a good deal more interesting to consumers.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is great. To bad Volvo isn't serious about selling these cars. Does anyone know who makes their battery?
      Baldur Norddahl
      • 2 Years Ago
      Single phase 32A would not be commonly available anywhere where you can not get three phase. So there is no point to that.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      20kW charging on my Volt would be around 35 minutes. That would be awesome. It will be interesting if GM puts a SAE combo plug on Volt 2.0. To save costs, I bet they just upgrade to 6.6kW. That would be fine for me.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this an AC system as Renault are doing?
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      22kW is ok for home use and shopping/parking but it's not good enough for range extension. The existing Chademo is of course a lot better or maybe an enhanced Chademo+ at 200A
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who has access to 400V 3-phase power?
        Jens Kr. Kirkebø
        @Spec
        Europe. So my guess is only european cars would be fitted with this charger. And the Mennekes-socket too of course, since J1772 doesn't support three-phase. But a 3*32A charger should be able to charge at 32A single phase too, so single phase charging should only take 4-5 hours. Not 8-10.
        GoodCheer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Single phase J1772 is designed to go up to 80 A, which is 19.2 kW, so only very slightly slower than this 'fast' charger. I suppose getting the power electronics in the cars to handle it is the important thing, and plugs are more or less window dressing.
        Baldur Norddahl
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Just about every house here (Denmark / Europe) has at least two 400V 3-phase outlets. One in the kitchen and one in the utility room. Each on separate fuses but only 16 amps. So long your host does not mind you disconnecting his dryer you can borrow 400V just about anywhere. I sure hope they will have a limiter so it can be plugged in to a 16 amp outlet though, otherwise you could only plug in at industrial buildings. Incidentally 16A and 32A plugs are different sizes. Here is how they look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60309 The car would use the red ones. To be complete I also need to mention that most houses have legacy plugs instead of the IEC. A prepared driver in Denmark would have to bring four adapters with him: 230V/12A, 400V/16A, 400V/32A and 400V/16A-legacy. Oh and a fifth adapter, the blue IEC, if he wants to use the very rare blue outside IEC outlets for 230V/16A.
      Electron
      • 2 Years Ago
      This Volvo charger is pretty much blown away by Renault's 43KW on board chameleon charger which needs less than 30 minutes to refill the Zoe's battery. The great thing about these on board chargers is that they just need heavy duty power outlets rather than expensive fast chargers for infrastructure. Also it negates the need for agreeing on a standard for fast charging this early in the fast developing EV game.
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        Keep in mind 43kW outlets aren't all that common and having a fast charger in every car is not cheaper than a handful spread around the countries. I think DC fast charging infrastructure makes a lot of sense. You can take a lot of cost and weight out of the car that way and conforming to the standard is not hard nor restrictive.
          GoodCheer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          "having a fast charger in every car is not cheaper " Unless you leverage the copper and silicon in the power electronics that performs regen braking. Then it's almost free. When you regen brake, you take AC from the motor and turn it into DC to charge the battery. Why have two pieces of equipment to do that? (The current reason is patents, but some of those will end soon).
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Keep in mind that all BEV's have one or more (Tesla)on board chargers anyway, though generally of lower capacity. Also keep in mind that the Renault Zoe is one of the cheapest EV offerings. Of course the fact that is comes "batteries not included" has a lot to do with that, but I feel that its Chameleon charger isn't actually all that more expensive than the lower capacity on board chargers that every EV maker needs to fit anyway.
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          ...and about the 43KW outlets not being that common: a fast charger net work needs to have high power connections anyway, the Renault system just makes the public fast chargers themselves redundant, replacing them by a cheap plug socket.
      Levine Levine
      • 2 Years Ago
      How many private residence in USA has 3 phase, 400V ? I can count them on my two hands. In USA, 3 phase, 440V is for heavy duty commercial application, not residential use. Even if you want one, you'll have to pay Edison extra money to run the special feed line into your special meter and service panel. And Edison may still not want to do it.
        Jens Kr. Kirkebø
        @Levine Levine
        Again, this is not for the american market. It is meant for Europe, which has 400V 3-phase available almost everywhere.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      3 phase will never see the light of day in this application. Earned a blurb on AB, tho.
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