In the advent of the Electric Vehicle age, electric mobility is fast becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.  Volkswagen as one of the largest Automobile companies in the world has conceived a New mobile charging concept, in form of mobile robots. Imagine in the near future, instead of having to plug-in to a charging point yourself or find a charging port, a mobile robot will throttle over to your EV and autonomously charge it up for you…

In fact, there’s no need to find charging stations at all when mobile robots become a reality. Volkswagen is confident that their mobile charging soldiers will take care of business for everyone. These mobile patrol robots will drive to designated EVs autonomously and do their tasks. The EV owner has to activate a robot with a specially developed application (app) or V2X communication. Once a robot has been called, it goes to the designated EV and opens the car’s charging socket flap. It then connect the plug and begin the charging process, without human interaction.

Sounds cool, eh?

Mobile Robot: How it works

The mobile robot is attached to a trailer (mobile energy storage device). The robot uses the energy storage device to charge the battery of an electric vehicle. When the charging starts, the ensrgy storage stays with the car and the robot moves on to another EV. Once the charging service is complete, the robot collects the energy storage device and brings it back to the charging station. The mobile robot and charging station are able to be used in public spaces i.e. car parks, malls, etc.

The compact, self-driving robot is equipped with battery wagon (energy storage device). One robot can move several battery wagons at once with each wagon carrying a capacity of 25 kWh of energy when fully charged. The battery wagon allows for quick charging with up to 50 kW on an EV. Important sensory equipment the Robot has are a camera, laser scanner and ultrasonic sensor. Accordingly, several robots can be employed simultaneously so that several EVs can be attended to.

In economic terms, VW figures that the mobile robot approach has an enormous economic potential. Also, 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.

The compact design of the charging robot is perfectly suited for use in restricted parking areas without charging infrastructures, such as underground car parks.

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Although still in its prototype phase, mobile robots can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right, according to VW. VW hasn’t gave an actual roll out date of the mobile robot project yet.

Charging infrastructure

When it comes to charging infrastructure, Volkswagen is one of the pioneers in this industry. As pioneers, VW intends to install a total of 36,000 charging points throughout Europe by 2025. VW is also launching its own wallbox for home charging called the ID.Charger. Another such ventures see VW, as a co-founder of the IONITY joint venture, contributed some 400 fast-charging parks on major European highways. The goal is to make charging an EV as easy as charging a smartphone.