Volkswagen provides a glimpse into the future in which the search for charging stations for electric cars comes to an end.
The company has announced a concept for a mobile charging robot that comes to electric cars and charges them on its own.
The mobile robot brings a trailer in the form of a mobile energy storage device to the vehicle and connects them; it then uses this energy storage device to charge the battery of the electric vehicle. The mobile energy storage device stays with the vehicle during the whole charging process. The robot, in the meantime, charges other electric vehicles.
Once the charging service is complete, the robot collects the energy storage device and brings it back to the charging station.
The prototype consists of a compact, self-driving robot as well as flexible and agile energy storage devices, also known as battery wagons.
When fully charged, these are equipped with an energy content of around 25 kWh each. A charging robot can move several battery wagons at the same time.
The robot, which can drive autonomously, is fitted with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors. The combination of these systems not only allows the robot to carry out the charging process completely autonomously but also to move around freely in the parking area, to recognise possible obstacles and to react to these.
“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistorey car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures”, Mark Möller, head of development at Volkswagen Group Components, said in a statement.
“It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly if the general conditions are right.”
There’s no launch date for the robot.
The mobile charging robot is a prototype by Volkswagen Group Components, which gives an insight into the future of charging infrastructure.
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