We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Volvo Cars, which will see us provide the latest version of our algorithm-enabled charging software for use on Volvo Cars’ new generation fully electric cars.

By integrating our software in Volvo Cars’ in-house developed battery management platform to optimise and improve the performance of Volvo’s charging technology, we can provide Volvo customers with even faster charging times, and an enhanced overall driving and charging experience.

Volvo will implement the latest version of Breathe Charge, our adaptive charging software, in its new generation fully electric cars. Our extensive validation indicates that Breathe Charge will reduce the time it takes to charge an electric Volvo from 10 to 80% state of charge by as much as 30%*, while maintaining the same energy density and range. Thanks to the health-adaptive nature of our technology, the charging time improvements will be maintained across the full battery life cycle, without impacting battery health or longevity.

Partnering for mobility

Our collaboration with Volvo Cars is the result of a sourcing agreement for Breathe Charge, as well as the latest investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, its corporate venture capital arm. It reflects Volvo’s ambition to lead the development of premium electric cars and become a fully electric car maker by 2030.

In Volvo, we have a partner that shares our passion for electric mobility and delightful driver experiences. With our physics-based battery management software, we have the aim of contributing to faster, better and more sustainable electrification of the world – a mission that aligns closely with Volvo’s corporate goals.

"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 cars deserve software-defined batteries

At Breathe, end-user experience is everything. And our total focus is building battery software that enhances customer experience. To do this, we help customers - like Volvo Cars - enhance their electrification roadmaps by extracting untapped potential from their existing batteries to deliver greater performance. Our dedication and focus on building innovative technology, that solves real-world challenges, ensures that global brands, like Volvo Cars, see the value of engaging with us to embed our software into their vehicles.

Ann-Sofie adds, "We have a lot of highly-skilled battery and software talent in-house. And as our vehicles are becoming more and more software-defined, we are really clear that we need to define which areas we should build internally, and which ones we should work with world-class suppliers and partners. And this is an area where we've found that Breathe has the level of expertise and capabilities that mean we really should collaborate."

Our physics-based battery management software uses adaptive charging to dynamically control the charging current in real-time, replacing traditional stepped charging strategies which rely on a pre-determined set of rules, often implemented as look-up tables. Breathe Charge uses a physics-based battery model to dynamically manage the battery’s internal electrochemical states.

Using our patented algorithms, our software increases charging speeds, without requiring any trade-offs to other battery attributes such as energy density, battery health or safety. It does so by managing the charging process in line with the battery’s evolving health, to deliver the best driver experience while avoiding the risk of lithium plating - a key contributor to reduced battery performance and lifespan. We do this economically responsibly, and with minimal supply chain risk, by finding innovative ways to get more performance for the same battery.

Dr Björn Fridholm, Technical Expert, Battery Management at Volvo Cars comments, "Differentiated, premium user experiences are enabled by the optimal, safe and reliable operation of battery systems. Embedding lookup tables and profiles of charge current as functions of temperature, state-of-charge and even state-of-health is no longer sufficient to deliver those experiences, or to keep pace with the rate of development of new batteries from A sample candidates through to in-production refreshes."

"Adaptive charging, enabled through an embedded and real-time physics-based battery model, is now the new standard. Simply, it enables us to continue our march to "optimal", while ensuring the safety and reliability that Volvo is renowned for. With Breathe, we are accessing that future immediately, delivering a better end-user experience for Volvo customers. We selected Breathe Charge because of its maturity, and we’re delighted to take advantage of the opportunity to lead the transition to adaptive charging."

Powering a more sustainable future

Volvo Cars’ investment in our software helps position it for an all-electric future, while also aligning with its ambitions of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions and becoming a circular business by 2040. Breathe Charge not only reduces the charging times of Volvo’s electric cars, but does so without the need to change battery pack design or mine additional materials to avoid additional environment impacts.

Since it is fully compatible with existing hardware, scaling is straightforward, enabling us to support Volvo Cars as it increases its sales of fully electric cars significantly in coming years.

"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. "Deploying our technology at scale on Volvo’s next generation of 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."

Investing in the future of Breathe

The investment by Volvo Cars Tech Fund marks a significant moment in our journey. The fund, which was established in 2018 to invest in companies and technology that transform the automotive industry, makes strategic investments to help start-ups thrive and jointly accelerate the transformation of the global mobility industry.

With their support, we will be able to continue building innovative technology to help transform the future of mobility and electrification.

*Different battery packs will result in varying charging times. Testing indicated charge time improvements from 15-30%.