Volkswagen Group, the leading company for EV development in its entire product portfolio, has developed a philosophy that can solve this problem to some degree.
The mobile charging robots of Volkswagen Group Components must drive into the electric car which is charged once an app or V2X contact is initiated. The whole charging process takes place without any human interaction, from opening the loading socket flap to attaching the plug with the disassembly.
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. This means you don’t need to search for an electric outlet and turn any parking space into a charging station. 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 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”, says Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components.
“It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right”, Möller adds.
The energy storage device allows for fast DC charging up to 50 kW on the vehicle with its integrated charging electronics. The robot is designed to carry out the process of charging fully autonomously while traveling around the parking area free of charge, identifying and responding to any obstacles. Different charging robots can be used at the same time, depending on the size of the parking area or underground parking lot.