Volkswagen Group Components has provided us with a vision into the future and a new way in which the charging infrastructure will grow. While fixed charging points are growing every day, the concept from VW Group is that soon an entire car park could be served by robots. This means that every space could be suitable for EVs that need a top-up.
The idea is that the mobile charging robot takes on the task of charging the car, with no human interaction at all. It’ll drive autonomously to the vehicle after it is started via an app or direct communication from the car itself. The robot will open the charging socket, connect the plug, get on with charging, and then decouple when ready. This means the entire charging process would happen without any human interaction.
Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication will play a large part in the success of these robots as they’ll need to be able to talk directly to each car.
The robot would use a mobile energy storage unit of around 25kWh with an integrated 50kW fast charger. This would remain with the vehicle as it charged, while the robot would go off and take care of charging other electric vehicles. This means that just one or two robots could serve a whole car park.
This not only makes sense for underground and multi-storey car parks but also for big events where there’s no permanent charging infrastructure.
“Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector,” Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall said in a statement. “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.”
While there is no release date yet from Volkswagen Group Components, the robot is in the prototype stage and will be ‘comprehensively further developed,’ according to the company.