Volvo Penta, ABB and Chalmers University studying fast charging for boats

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The study will assess if electric charging technology used on Volvo electric buses could be used on the water.

The study will assess if electric charging technology used on Volvo electric buses could be used on the water.

Volvo Penta is working with ABB in Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, to evaluate technology that can possibly provide fast charging for electrically powered vessels.

“While all-electric boating remains in its infancy, for this exciting new transport system to be a success and grow, a network of fast charging stations needs to be developed,” Niklas Thulin, director electromobility at Volvo Penta, said in a statement. “Identifying the more promising solutions will be the challenge of the one-year project, which is being partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.”

Once the feasibility study is complete, it is expected that fast-charging technology would be incorporated into Gothenburg’s Marine Demo Arena. Volvo Penta is based in Gothenburg.

Volvo has experience in electrically powered transportation with Volvo buses. Working with ABB, Chalmers University and the City of Gothenburg, Volvo Buses developed a fast-charging network to support two electric bus routes in the city. The feasibility study will assess if similar technology could be adapted for marine use.

“We believe we can leverage proven technology from the Volvo Group to develop hybrid and electric solutions on board,” Thulin said in the statement. “But the need for infrastructure, standards and regulations are critical to accelerate this shift.”

Jörgen Karlsson, head of sales, ABB Marine Sweden, said his company is “committed to running the world without consuming the earth and to enhancing energy efficiency and emission reduction for shipping with electric, digital and connected technologies.”

Chalmers University has a background in electrical power engineering and is working with partners to develop charging technologies. “In this collaboration project, we will review all feasible solutions and identify the technology path towards the first installation of marine applications in the ElectriCity demo area and future scale-up,” said Yujing Liu, professor and head of electrical machines and power electronics at Chalmers. “The potential to utilize emerging technologies such as automatic docking and wireless power transfer will be investigated.”

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