Volvo Group invests in Pennsylvania-based wireless charging firm

Key Points
  • The wireless charging business, called Momentum Dynamics, is based in Philadelphia.
  • The business is currently carrying out pilots in both North America and Europe.
A row of new Volvo truck units.
Erik Abel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Volvo Group Venture Capital, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, has invested in a company that specializes in the "high power wireless charging of electric vehicles."

The wireless charging business, called Momentum Dynamics, is based in Pennsylvania. It is developing and commercializing "high power inductive charging for the automotive and transportation industries."

The Volvo Group said Tuesday that wireless charging enabled vehicles to connect to the electrical power grid without needing to use wires or cables. This can be done automatically and without any supervision.

Momentum Dynamics is currently carrying out pilots in both North America and Europe. These involve fleets and vehicle manufacturers of buses, cars, trains and trucks, the Volvo Group said.

"For Volvo Group we are strengthening our competence and knowledge of charging and electricity distribution within the ecosystem around electric transportation and energy supply," Stefan Soderling, investment director at Volvo Group Venture Capital, said in a statement.

"We see partnership, cooperation and investments as the way forward in a fast-changing environment," Soderling added.

In 2017, there were more than 3 million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the planet's roads, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Global Electric Vehicles Outlook. This represents an increase of 54 percent compared to 2016.

Almost 580,000 electric cars were sold in China in 2017, according to the IEA, while around 280,000 were sold in the U.S.

In terms of charging infrastructure, the IEA says that, globally, there were an estimated 3 million private chargers at homes and workplaces in 2017. The number of "publicly accessible" chargers amounted to roughly 430,000.

This week's news represents the latest foray by a major business into the electric vehicle charging sector.

In January 2018, for instance, oil major subsidiary BP Ventures invested $5 million in FreeWire Technologies, a U.S. company that specializes in mobile electric vehicle rapid charging systems. In October 2018, Volvo Cars announced it had bought a stake in FreeWire Technologies.