For Volkswagen, electric mobility is one of the key future trends in electric mobility. Hardly any other automobile manufacturer has placed as much focus on the further development of eMobility as the VW Group. But one issue has so far massively limited the breakthrough of the new mobility concepts -- the insufficiently developed charging infrastructure. VW has now presented a new idea for parking spaces, multi-storey car parks and underground car parks. With mobile charging robots, they want to transport electricity directly to the parked cars.
Volkswagen’s Mobile Charging Robot (Source: Volkswagen)
Until now, the batteries of electric cars have been charged at so-called wallboxes or charging points. However, the number of these charging options has so far been very limited. TheVW subsidiary Volkswagen Group Components has now presented a solution in a recently published study. The charging robot is to refuel the car batteries at parking lots without a permanently installed charging infrastructure.
The fully autonomous robot is coupled to one or more battery cars. These energy storage units have a capacity of about 25 kWh when fully charged. Integrated charging electronics will enable charging with up to 50 kW on the vehicle.
“We can electrify almost any car park in one go without the need for costly individual infrastructure measures” -- Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components
The process is simple. If an electric car parks on one of the parking spaces in the working area of the charging robot systems and requests the robot via app, the robot drives to the car with one of the charging wagons connected to the network, connects it without human intervention and starts the charging process. If the car is charged or the storage tank is empty, the robot retrieves the energy storage tank and connects it to the power supply system. This enables smooth operation.
Innovation profile: Volkswagen Charging Robot
The Volkswagen charging robot solves one of the central problems of the current discussion on electric mobility. It scores as follows in the innovation profile:
The idea of supplying mobile charging tanks for electric cars is nothing new in principle. A Berlin start-up has already made this possible for several years in cooperation with various delivery services in the German capital. However, the combination of this concept with robotics is innovative and therefore to be found in the middle range of novelty. The complexity and conflicts are rather low. By means of the app or other service offers, the charging robot can easily be called to the parking car. The rest runs completely autonomous. The insecurity alone remains, since the available tanks and robots at the equipped parking areas will also be limited and thus no full charging can be possible.
Conclusion: The advantages of the system presented by VW are obvious. Parking garages and underground car parks do not have to install charging columns, but can simply extend the unit with a charging option for the battery cars and robots. However, human assistance will be needed for the start until the robots can really become fully autonomous.
Post Picture: Volkswagen