Group Components has presented a new and visionary charging concept which
involves mobile robots that will charge electric vehicles completely
autonomously in future. In short, every parking space can become a charging
has provided a glimpse into the future in which the search for charging
stations for electric cars comes to an end. Volkswagen Group Components' mobile
charging robot takes over this task – and drives to the electric car completely
autonomously. After it is started via app or V2X communication, the mobile
robot drives itself to the vehicle that needs charging and communicates with
opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug to decoupling – the
entire charging process occurs without any human interaction. The highlight:
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.
mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different
parking facilities, such as multi-storey 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", summarises Mark Möller, Head
of Development at Volkswagen Group Components.
a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the
general conditions are right", Möller continues. Volkswagen Group
Components is researching different approaches to the assembly of charging
infrastructure and has already developed several successful products. The
flexible quick charging station and DC wall boxes are already part of a future
charging family. Customer-oriented, intelligent and flexible approaches to
charging are at the centre of the research. Other innovative products such as
the charging robot are currently being developed.
Autonomous, compact and flexible
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. When called via app or
V2X communication, it brings the energy storage device to the electric vehicle
and connects them both autonomously. With its integrated charging electronics,
the energy storage device allows for DC quick charging with up to 50 kW on 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
on the size of the parking area or the underground car park, several charging
robots can be employed simultaneously so that several vehicles can be attended
to. Every car park can become a flexible charging point. The mobile charging robot can be put to use
in various ways. It isn't just a robot arm that connects a car to a fixed
charging station. Instead, drivers have the choice to park in any available space,
independent of whether a charging station is free or not.
robot brings the charging station in the form of a mobile energy storage device
directly to the vehicle. For operators of different parking facilities this is
a quick and easy solution to electrify every parking space. "This approach
has an enormous economic potential", says Möller. "The constructional
work as well as the costs for the assembly of the charging infrastructure can
be reduced considerably through the use of the robots."
compact design of the charging robot is perfectly suited for use in restricted parking
areas without charging infrastructures, such as underground car parks. Möller
continues: "Even the well-known problem of a charging station being
blocked by another vehicle will no longer exist with our concept. You simply
choose any parking space as usual. You can leave the rest to our electronic
helper." The mobile charging robot is a prototype by Volkswagen Group
Components, which gives an insight into the future of charging infrastructure.
A possible date for the market launch of the charging robot has not been set
engages in initiatives to establish a charging infrastructure at many levels.
Together with its dealers, the company is installing a total of 36,000 charging
points throughout Europe by 2025. A large proportion of these will be publicly available.
Volkswagen is also launching its own wallbox for home charging called the ID.Charger.
And as a co-founder of the IONITY joint
venture, Volkswagen participates in installing 400 fast-charging parks on major
European highways. Medium-term, charging an EV is to become as easy as charging
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