Volkswagen Group Components has revealed a prototype of its mobile charging robot, which is designed for fully autonomous charging of vehicles in places such as parking garages.
The charging robot is started via an app or Car-to-X communication, and operates autonomously. It independently steers to the vehicle to be charged and communicates with it. The entire charging process, from opening the charging flap to connecting the plug and decoupling it, takes place with no human involvement. To charge several vehicles at the same time, the robot connects a mobile energy storage unit to the vehicle, then repeats the process to charge other vehicles. Once the vehicle is fully charged, the robot collects the mobile energy storage unit and takes it back to the central charging station.
“A ubiquitous charging infrastructure is, and remains, a key factor in the success of electric mobility. Our charging robot is just one of several approaches, but is undoubtedly one of the most visionary,” explains Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. “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.”
The mobile charging robot has reached prototype status and will now undergo further development. One of the prerequisites for market maturity is Car-to-X communication to facilitate the autonomous charging process.
In the future, Volkswagen Group Components will be responsible for all Volkswagen Group charging activities and charging systems. The charging robot will be integrated into an overall charging system. “Our developments do not just focus on customers’ needs…they also consider the economic possibilities they offer potential partners,” says Schmall. The idea is to enable parking operators to quickly and simply electrify every parking space, with no need to construct a large number of fixed charging stations.
Source: Volkswagen Group