Volkswagen Group has offered a first glimpse at its mobile charging robots. It is one of the ideas that Volkswagen has to expand the charging infrastructure over the next few years.
This is a different approach to the likes of Tesla that has simply built as many Superchargers as it can to make charging as accessible as it is to fill a car with petrol.
The charging robot – started via an app or Car-to-X communication – operates autonomously. It steers the vehicle to be charged and communicates with it: from opening the charging socket flap to connecting and de-connecting the plug. The entire charging process takes place without any human involvement whatsoever.
It can also charge multiple vehicles at the same time, by moving a trailer, essentially a mobile energy storage unit, to the vehicle, connects it up and then uses this energy storage unit to charge the battery of the electric vehicle. The energy storage unit stays with the vehicle when it is being charged. In the meantime, the robot charges other electric vehicles. Once the car is fully charged, the robot collects the mobile energy storage unit and takes it back to the central charging station.
It is due to be launched in certain markets in early 2021 so we could be seeing mobile charging robots in underground carparks soon enough.