The Volkwagen Group is working on a mobile vehicle charger which can traverse parking areas autonomously, fuel an EV and then return to its outpost without any human interference.
The concept demonstrates how manufacturers are preparing to develop the charging system in the coming years to satisfy the anticipated demand for electric cars as they are manufacturing and selling more. Volkswagen plans to produce hundreds of hybrid vehicles in the coming years. Volkswagen aims to develop and market an approximate 1.5 million electric vehicles in Europe by 2025.
The concept is meant to put an end to "stadium pricing" thanks to modern selection choices. Right now, the mobile charging robot and the flexible quick-charging station are two options the group is preparing.
“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,” explains Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Components’ CEO.
The group is designing a portfolio of different rechargeable batteries of varying ranges that can operate in different power levels. Mercedes Benz has started piloting its DC wallbox at several of its manufacturing sites in Germany. VW Community is preparing to add new more movable systems in roughly April or May 2021.
There is no precise release date for the mobile charging robot. Volkswagen would require car-to-X connectivity technologies in order to improve the car-to-electric vehicle charging technology.
The charging robot works fully autonomously, initiated by an app or Car-to-X contact. It steers and connects with the car to be charged independently: from opening the charging port flap to attaching and decoupling the plug.
The whole charging phase takes place without any human intervention since all the work is performed automatically. The mobile robot moves a trailer, basically a mobile energy storage device, to the truck to charge multiple cars at the same time, attaches it to it, and also uses this energy storage unit to charge the electric vehicle's batteries.
During the charging phase, the energy storage device remains with the car. The robot is charging other electric cars in the meantime. If the charging service has finished, the robot receives the mobile energy storage device separately and carries it back to the central charging station.
“Establishing a charging infrastructure is a fundamental prerequisite for this. But it needs to be demand-led and efficient,” continues Schmall. “Our developments do not just focus on customers’ needs and the technical prerequisites of electric vehicles. They also consider the economical possibilities they offer potential partners.”