Robots could charge at any parking space without extra infrastructure
Offers flexible charging for commercial parking
Volkswagen is taking a new look at EV charging infrastructure, and that includes this little guy. A prototype for a robot with a battery that autonomously goes to the vehicle that needs to be charged, plugs in, and takes car of recharging for you.
While full-service gas stations aren’t as popular as they used to be, full-serve electric charging is an interesting idea. Especially for cars that spend most of their day and night sitting in one place, not driving anywhere. Like a driveway, or a parking lot.
The autonomous charging robot is called upon through an app or even Car-to-X communication. So the car can call for a charge itself. The robot steers to the car that needs to be charged, pops the charge door over the air and plugs in. The robot, which really does need an adorable name, brings a trailer with it that’s basically another battery VW calls an energy storage unit. This way it can connect to charge, then the robot can go back to a main base, grab another storage unit, and go charge another vehicle, as many as are calling for a plug. When charging is done, the robot picks up the storage unit and takes it back to base for a recharge.
“Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector,” said VW Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall. “We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures. The mobile charging robot and our flexible quick-charging station are just two of these solutions.”
This type of solution could, for example, let an EV charge in any parking spot in the lot without the need to build that many charge points, as well as let parking places add more charging capability without extensive infrastructure upgrades.
“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,” said Schmall.