Volkswagen Group Components is coming up with a mobile charging robot prototype. This concept will completely transform parking spaces into charging stations.
The electric vehicle owners can summon for the charging robot from any parking space through an app or V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication which will call the robot which then will come towing an energy device and plug it into the car. Each energy storage device is expected to hold 25kWh and supplies 50kW DC electricity.
The revolutionary concept is expected to reduce the costs of construction when retrofitting charging stations in parking lots. With this, a single robot will be able to handle numerous cars. The robot will autonomously move around in the parking lot and ferry around several charging units at a time.
V2X communication is a technology, which will allow cars to communicate with other cars as well as non-car devices also. This feature is expected to be installed in multiple VW models planned for 2020.
Owners of EVs who do not use V2X will have to rely on an app to call for the mobile robot. according to VW Group Components Head of Development, Mark Moller believes that the technology is not far fetched and it’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly if the general conditions are right.
The company is working towards more user-oriented charging solutions to increase EV ownership and promote EV vehicles.
The European carmakers are aiming to make EV charging as easy as smartphone charging and are planning of setting up 36,000 charging stations in Europe by 2025.
The company’s new IONITY joint venture will also set up 400 charging stations along the major European highways. Recent trends are showing that electric vehicles are gaining momentum in many European countries.
Volkswagen’s latest innovation will be a major boon for the process of setting up a fast-charging station much quicker. However, the path is not easy, as the reliability of an autonomous robot in a parking lot with moving traffic is a problem.
Then there arises the issue of energy management in high-traffic hours and also how much would each recharge cost, and how will it be paid is a major question. The technology has the potential to make the EV charging more user-friendly, but the challenges could restrict widespread use.