Volvo Cars partners with Breathe for next-gen fast charging | Autocar Professional

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Volvo Cars has partnered up with Breathe Battery Technologies (Breathe), becoming the first car company to get access to the latest version of its patented, algorithm-enabled charging software for use on its new-generation fully electric cars.

Breathe is a London-based start-up that develops battery management software with the aim of contributing to faster, better and more sustainable electrification. By integrating Breathe’s software in its in-house developed battery management platform, Volvo Cars aims to optimise and improve the performance of its charging technology and enable even faster charging times and an enhanced overall driving and charging experience.

Volvo Cars plans to implement the new technology in its new-generation fully electric cars, where it expect to reduce the time it takes to charge the EV from 10 to 80% charging state by as much as 30%, while maintaining the same energy density and range. The Swedish car maker has stated that testing has indicated charge time improvements ranging from 15-30 percent. Furthermore, the charging time improvements will last across the full battery life cycle without impacting its health status.

The collaboration with Breathe is the result of a sourcing agreement for its flagship product, Breathe Charge, and represents the latest investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. As is known, Volvo Cars has targeted becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030. Also, since the Breathe software is fully compatible with the hardware used in Volvo’s new-generation fully electric cars, scaling will be easy as the carmaker expects its electric sales to increase significantly in the coming years.

“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,” says 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.”

Software-defined batteries
Unlike traditional stepped charging which relies on pre-determined rules, Breathe’s software uses adaptive charging to dynamically 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.

“We’re very pleased with this investment and sourcing agreement with Volvo Cars and support their exciting journey towards full electrification,” says Dr Ian Campbell, CEO of Breathe Battery Technologies. “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.”

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