Volvo Buys Into 'Software-Defined Battery' Project

Investment into U.K. battery charging company claims possibility of faster charges without compromising lifespan.

Paul Myles, European Editor

March 13, 2024

1 Min Read
Volvo Cars BEV powertrain
Volvo BEV powertrains to 'Breathe' new life into battery charging.

Volvo Cars is investing in a U.K. battery specialist to use its smart charging technology for ‘software-defined batteries’ to be deployed in future battery-electric vehicles.

The automaker says it is the first to access the latest version of Breathe Battery Technology’s patented, algorithm-enabled charging software. The company, spun out of the environment-focused Breathe Network project run by Imperial College London, claims faster consumer battery charging when coupled with Volvo’s own battery management platform.

The automaker says the software could reduce the time it takes to charge a BEV from a 10% to 80% charging state by as much as 30% while maintaining the same energy density and range. On top of this, expected charging improvements could last across the full battery lifecycle without damaging its health.

Breathe’s software uses adaptive charging to control the battery charging in real-time, claiming significantly shorter charging times. Using algorithms, the software manages the charging process in line with the battery’s health while avoiding the risk of lithium plating, which can harm the battery’s performance and lifespan.

Heading up the investment program, Ann-Sofie Ekberg, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, says: “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. 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.”

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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