Volkswagen offers a vision of the future in which the search for charging stations for electric cars comes to an end. Volkswagen Group Components has developed a mobile charging robot that can recharge electric vehicles autonomously, allowing any parking space to become a charging point.
After it is started via the app or V2X communication, the mobile robot goes to the vehicle that needs to be charged and communicates with it. From opening the cover of the charging socket to connecting the plug and undocking, the entire charging process takes place in an automated way, without human interaction.
How does it work?
The mobile robot carries an independent trailer where the energy is stored, takes it to the vehicle to be loaded and connects it; then use this energy storage device to charge the electric vehicle battery. The mobile battery remains with the vehicle throughout the charging process. The robot, meanwhile, can service other electric vehicles. After the charging service is complete, the robot picks up the mobile power battery and takes it to another electric vehicle, or takes it to a charging station for recharging.
The mobile charging robot will be a revolution when it comes to charging in parking lots, regardless of whether it has several floors, number of parking spaces or whether they are underground, because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost all car parks electric, without any complex individual charging infrastructure.
Mark Möller, Head of Development, Volkswagen Group Components.
It’s a visionary prototype that can be realized pretty quickly, if the conditions are right. The Volkswagen Components Group is investigating different approaches to the assembly of charging infrastructure and has already developed several products with success. The flexible fast charging station and DC wall boxes are already part of a charging family of the future. Customer-oriented, smart and flexible charging approaches are at the core of the research. Other innovative products are currently being developed such as the charging robot.
Autonomous, compact and flexible.
The prototype consists of a compact and autonomous robot, as well as the so-called “battery wagons”. When fully charged they have a capacity of about 25 kWh each. A cargo robot can move several battery cars at the same time. It communicates through the app or V2X, and takes the energy storage device to the electric vehicle and connects them to both autonomously. With its integrated charging electronics, the energy accumulator enables fast DC charging of up to 50 kW in the vehicle.
The robot is equipped with cameras, scanners and sensors. The combination of these systems not only allows the robot to carry out the loading process completely autonomously, but it can also move freely around the parking area, recognize potential obstacles and react to them. Depending on the size of the parking area, several cargo robots can be used simultaneously to serve multiple vehicles.
Each car park can become a charging point.
The mobile charging robot can be used in various ways. It is not just a robotic arm that connects a car to a fixed charging station. Instead, drivers have the option of parking in any available space, regardless of whether a charging station is free or not. The robot brings the charging station directly to the vehicle. For parking operators, this is a quick and easy solution to electrify each parking space.
This approach has enormous economic potential. The construction work as well as the assembly costs of the charging infrastructure can be considerably reduced by the use of robots.
You simply choose any parking space as usual. The rest you can leave it to our robot.
A possible date for the market launch of the Volkswagen charging robot has not yet been set.