Volvo Car Corporation is testing a new fast-charger for electric cars that cuts recharging time to an outstanding 1.5 hours.

The fast-charger operates six times faster than today's on-board devices.

"We know that short recharging times and extensive operating range are a necessity for potential electric car consumers," said Lennart Stegland, Vice President Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Corporation.

"The fast-charging unit helps cure what is known as 'range anxiety' since the car can be more easily recharged during the day. And even if you don't have enough time for a 1.5-hour charge, plugging in for just 30 minutes will give you enough power for another 80 kilometres of driving."

The new charger will be installed and evaluated in a number of Volvo C30 Electric cars.

The new 22kW fast-charger is the world's first charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car.

It offers the car owner two possibilities: using a three-phase outlet with 32A gives an 80km range in 30 minutes.  A full charge takes 1.5 hours.

Plugging into an ordinary single-phase 230V household outlet gives a charging time of 8-10 hours, depending on the available current.