Currently reading: Volkswagen mobile robot revolutionises electric car charging
Prototype robot is summoned by app, tows 25kWh 'battery wagon' then plugs into EV and charges
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
26 December 2019

Volkswagen has developed a robot that can charge electric cars autonomously - effectively allowing any parking space to become a charging point.

The mobile charging system is comprised of two units: a robot and an energy storage device.

The robot is summoned by drivers via a smartphone app or through a connected car system and tows the storage device with it to a vehicle. The robot is then capable of opening a charging port and connecting a plug. It can then go and charge other vehicles, returning to collect the energy storage device once the charging process is completed.

Each ‘battery wagon’ contains 25kWh of power and is capable of DC fast-charging at up to 50kW. The robot is fitted with a range of scanners and sensors to ensure it can move freely around the car park.

Mark Möller, the head of the Volkswagen Group Components division, said the system “will spark a revolution” because it can “bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around.”

The system is designed for use in a range of car parks, with Möller claiming it has “enormous economic potential” by reducing the need for fixed charging points to be installed. It would also end the problem of charging bays being blocked by charged or non-electric cars.

The system is currently “a visionary prototype”, but Volkswagen claims it could be “made into reality quite quickly”. It added that is has not set a date for a market launch yet.

Volkswagen is working on a range of solutions for electric charges. It is one of the firms behind the Ionity 350kW charging network and has previously shown a prototype of a portable charging station.

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Comments
12

26 December 2019

Surely they could have given it a smiley mouth to go with the friendly eyes?

26 December 2019
"Volkswagen has developed ...". No they haven't. They've drawn some pictures. This requires zero expertise and near zero effort. A 12yr old kid could have done this. Do you get paid for this marketing gimmick? If so, you should be open about it.

26 December 2019
Dogpoo wrote:

"Volkswagen has developed ...". No they haven't. They've drawn some pictures. This requires zero expertise and near zero effort. A 12yr old kid could have done this. Do you get paid for this marketing gimmick? If so, you should be open about it.

You have to admit though, it's a no veil solution, yes, there'll be teething troubles, but not everything go right at first.

26 December 2019
Meanwhile BMW and others are already selling wireless charging pads which could easily slide under cars to charge them....

27 December 2019

James Attwood and his cronies at Autocar have reached a new  low in flattery to their masters at VW

27 December 2019
Vw want to waste energy and money by having an expensive electric powered robot pulling around expensive battery packs which arent big enough to give a decent charge to the larger battery electric vehicles.
The towable 25 kw batteries will have to be rapid charged every time to 80% so will only have 20kw (unless there are hundreds of them)

Much cheaper and efficient to have a charger at every space.
Why do these dreamers get paid?

27 December 2019

Car parking spaces aren't big enough for that, you can hardly get in or out of your car, let alone get a robot down the side of your car. 

27 December 2019

If battery raw materials (lithium, cobalt) are in short supply AND battery manufacturing capacity is limited why would we want to use more batteries simply to shuffle electricity inefficiently and in relatively small quantities from the wall to the car? Just use wires.

This concept is nonsense, I suppose it's just more EV trolling from WV, they've been announcing EV stuff since dieselgate yet there's very little real activity. Whatever happened to the ID3? Has a single one been delivered to a customer yet?

It's time to sh*t or get off the pot, VW.

27 December 2019

Well Autocar have to fill the VW group article vacuum somehow.

27 December 2019

So, by creating this system they remove the need to have fixed charging points installed.How do they propose to charge these mobile batteries?   I bet they'll use fixed charging points!

So it's about convience to the end user and getting them to pay more.And it will cost more, because they'll have to install charging points anyway (for the robots and batteries), and the user will have to pay additional robots full of sensors that drags around a battery that isn't big enough to fully charge a car and is far also far less effiecient than a fixed charging point.And no doubt the robot itself will need charging too. 

I don't think environmental impact has been considered in this presentation.This will require a lot more materials for batteries and circuitry than if we just stuck with fixed charging points.Charging a car via a fixed charging point will be alot more effiecient too as there wont be any losses by charging the robots and their dinky batteries.

 

Yeah, sure, it's a nice idea and convient for the end user, but I think it's a waste of materials and electrical energy.

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