Volvo Is Working With Northvolt to Deliver EVs With 1,000 Km of Range

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Volvo did not hold back on its software plans for electric cars. It also revealed a concept at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment event that screams about the next-generation XC90 – and suggests some similarities with the Polestar 3. With all that, it was a little frustrating when the company talked about more range and faster charging for its EVs. Not for the objectives themselves, mind you, but for the lack of elements to believe it will genuinely achieve them.
Volvo said Northvolt would help it produce batteries with renewable energy to lower carbon emissions. The two companies will also work together to increase energy density by about 50% “in the near future and keep moving forward until “later this decade.” At that vague time frame, Volvo expects its cars will reach a 1,000 km range and its batteries to present a 1,000 Wh/l energy density. The best lithium-ion cells available nowadays offer about 730 Wh/l.

Such a massive range will help Volvo EV owners to sell energy back to the grid when they are not in need of it: all electric Volvos will have V2G (vehicle-to-grid) capabilities. That’s encouraging, but the Swedish car manufacturer did not say which technology will allow it to reach these battery goals. Is it talking about solid-state cells? New cathodes? More efficient electrolytes? Something else entirely? We have no idea.

Volvo also promised to reduce charging times by half by the middle of this decade. The path to get there goes through “better battery technology and continuous improvements to software and fast-charging technology.” That is also pretty unspecific, possibly because faster charging times typically come associated with 800V battery packs. Battery tech promises only count when they are on the verge of being commercially viable or are at least mentioned anywhere.

Although it also referred to battery recycling as a general goal, we know that Volvo will do that with Northvolt. The Swedish carmaker will also explore stationary energy storage with battery packs that are no longer suitable for vehicles. That’s the same plan Renault disclosed at the Renault eWays ElectroPop press conference held on the same day as the Volvo event.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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