Volvo EV powertrain

Volvo has partnered up with Breathe Battery Technologies to deliver fasting charging times to drivers of its next-generation electric cars.

By integrating Breathe’s software in Volvo’s in-house-developed battery management platform Volvo said it can provide customers with even faster charging times and an enhanced overall driving and charging experience.

The car giant expects it to reduce the time it takes to charge a fully electric Volvo from 10 to 80% charging state by as much as 30 per cent, while maintaining the same energy density and range. It said the charging time improvements will last across the full battery life cycle without impacting its health status.

The collaboration with Breathe represents the latest investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Volvo’scorporate venture capital arm. It said the move reflects its ambition to lead the development of premium electric cars and become a fully electric car maker by 2030.

Breathe is a London-based start-up that develops battery management software with the aim of contributing to faster, better and more sustainable electrification.

“The investment and commercial partnership with Breathe helps us address a familiar pain point for electric car customers and makes our charging performance even more competitive,” said Ann-Sofie Ekberg, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “Faster charging times, in the range where customers typically fast charge, represent a major step in the right direction as we continue to boost electric mobility and make it available to more people.”

Unlike traditional stepped charging, which relies on pre-determined rules, Breathe’s software uses adaptive charging to control the battery in real time, resulting in significantly shorter charging times. Using algorithms, the software manages the charging process in line with the battery’s health to deliver the best driver experience while avoiding the risk of lithium plating, which can harm the battery’s performance and lifespan.

Dr Ian Campbell, CEO of Breathe, said: “Deploying our technology at scale on Volvo’s next-generation EV platform opens doors to innovative car designs and performance improvements. We share a profound passion for electric mobility, and convenient, fast charging is one of the cornerstone enablers for the future we strive towards.”