Volkswagen ‘Envisions’ a Mobile EV Charging Robot, Reveals First Glimpse

“A ubiquitous charging infrastructure is and remains a key factor in the success of electric mobility. Our charging robot is just one of several approaches, but is undoubtedly one of the most visionary,” said Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Components’ CEO EV Charging

The German automaker, Volkswagen has revealed the first glimpse of the real prototypes of its mobile electric vehicle (EV) charging robot. This is one of the visionary charging concepts that Volkswagen hopes will expand the charging infrastructure over the next few years. 

The charging robot will deliver fully autonomous charging of vehicles in restricted parking areas, like underground car parks, which started via an app or Car-to-X communication. It independently steers the vehicle to be charged and communicates with it: from opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug and decoupling it. The entire charging process takes place without any human involvement whatsoever. 

Interestingly, to charge several vehicles at the same time, the mobile robot moves a trailer, essentially a mobile energy storage unit, to the vehicle, connects it up, and then uses this energy storage unit to charge the battery of the electric vehicle. The energy storage unit stays with the vehicle during the charging process. In the meantime, the robot charges other electric vehicles. Once the charging is done, the robot independently collects the mobile energy storage unit and takes it back to the central charging station.

CEO Schmall commented, “Available charging infrastructure is key in the success of electric mobility.” Charging and charging systems combined as core issues at Group Components he added. 

The business unit is currently working on a complete DC charging family. The flexible quick-charging station will be launched onto the market in early 2021. For several weeks now, the DC wallbox has been trialed at different company’s German production sites. The mobile charging robot has successfully reached prototype status and will now be comprehensively further developed.

Recounting the new charging infrastructure, Thomas Schmall stated, “Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector. We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures. The mobile charging robot and our flexible quick-charging station are just two of these solutions.”

“Establishing a charging infrastructure is a fundamental prerequisite for this. But it needs to be demand-led and efficient,” Schmall continues. “Our developments do not just focus on customer needs and the technical prerequisites of electric vehicles. They also consider the economical possibilities they offer potential partners.”

They intend to integrate the charging robot into an overall concept that focuses on the long-term success of electric mobility, and thus the electrification of transport. Volkswagen also has provided a visual demonstration of how the EV charging robot will work, in a press note released yesterday. 

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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