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July 2, 2021

Volvo plans to make battery pack part of body structure

Battery pack will be part of the body structure in future Volvo Cars EVs.

By Graeme Roberts

By the middle of the decade, as it introduces its third generation of electric cars, Geely’s Volvo Cars plans to improve the range further and integrate the battery pack into the floor of the car, using the cell structure for overall vehicle stiffness and improving efficiency.

In the near term, it plans to work with Swedish battery company Northvolt to further increase the energy density in its battery cells by up to 50%  compared with what is on the market today. Later this decade, Volvo Cars also looks to break the 1000 Wh/l energy density milestone, in order to achieve 1000km (621 miles) of real driving range.

Current charging times are expected to be cut almost in half by the mid-decade, thanks to better battery technology and continuous improvements to software and fast-charging technology.

Battery cells from Volvo Cars’ planned collaboration with Northvolt aim to be produced using renewable energy while it is working with other battery suppliers to do the same by 2025.

Where possible, batteries that have reached the end of their lifespan will be recycled at authorised recyclers that are able to offer closed-loop recycling of critical materials for use in future batteries. The planned partnership with Northvolt also raises the possibility to utilise their established recycling operations.

The company will offer bi-directional charging, allowing customers to offload excess electricity in their car battery to the power grid. This means EV drivers can provide energy to the grid when prices and CO2 emissions related to electricity production are at their daily peak, while charging their car when emissions fall.

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