Volvo Cars partners with Breathe to invest in next-generation fast charging


Volvo Cars has entered into a partnership with Breathe Battery Technologies (Breathe), becoming the first car company to gain access to the latest version of Breathe's proprietary algorithm-based charging software for use in next-generation all-electric Volvos.

By integrating Breathe's software into the battery management platform developed internally by Volvo Cars to improve the performance of the charging technology, we can offer Volvo customers even faster charging times and an enhanced driving and charging experience.

We will apply the new technology to our next-generation pure electric cars, estimating that it will reduce charging times by up to 30%* (from 10% to 80%), while maintaining the same energy density and range. Even better: the improvements in charging time will be maintained throughout the battery life cycle, without affecting the health of the battery.

The partnership with Breathe is the result of an agreement to supply its flagship product, Breathe Charge, and is the latest investment from our investment arm, Volvo Cars Tech Fund. It reflects our ambition to pioneer the development of premium electric cars and to become an all-electric car manufacturer by 2030.

Breathe is a London-based start-up that shares our passion for electric mobility and top customer experience. It develops battery management software to contribute to better, faster and more sustainable electromobility.

"The investment and commercial partnership with Breathe helps us address an issue of concern to electric car customers, and makes our charging performance even more competitive." says Ann-Sofie Ekberg, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. "Shorter charging times, within the radius where customers typically opt for fast charging, are an important step in the right direction as we continue to enhance electric mobility by making it available to more people."



Software-based batteries

Unlike traditional staged charging, which is based on predefined rules, Breathe's software uses adaptive charging that dynamically controls the battery in real time, delivering significantly shorter charging times.

Using algorithms, the software manages the charging process according to the health of the battery to provide the best possible experience for the driver, avoiding the risk of lithium plating that can damage battery performance and life.

Our investment in Breathe puts us on track for an all-electric future, and fits with our ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions and become a circular business by 2040. The technology achieves reduced charging times for our cars, without the need to change the battery array design or mine more materials, and with no additional impact on the environment.

Also, given that the technology is fully compatible with the hardware used in our new generation of pure electric cars, it will facilitate the scaling up of its use, as we expect sales of electric models to increase significantly in the coming years.

"We are delighted with this investment and the supply agreement with Volvo Cars, through which we will support their exciting journey towards dedicated electrification." says Dr Ian Campbell, CEO of Breathe Battery Technologies. "Developing our technology to the scale required for Volvo's next-generation electric vehicle platform opens the way to innovative car designs and performance improvements. We share an absolute passion for electric mobility, and practical, rapid charging is one of the fundamental requirements for the future towards which our efforts are heading."

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was established in 2018 to invest in companies and technology fields that are transforming the automotive industry, such as electrification, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous driving, sustainability and digital commerce. The Tech Fund makes strategic investments to help start-ups flourish and jointly accelerate the transformation of the global transportation industry.