Volkswagen have announced that they’re developing a new autonomous robot that can effectively turn any car parking space into an electric car charging point. Currently revealed as a prototype, the new two-part robot could revolutionise electric car charging thanks to the reduced need for static charging points.
Summoned by an app or through a connected car system, the robot would drag an energy storage device – or ‘battery wagon’ – to a car that needs charging. Capable of opening the charging point on a vehicle, it would then connect a charging cable to the car and leave the storage device behind. It could then repeat the service for other vehicles.
Each of the battery wagons would contain 25kWh of power and would be capable of 50kW DC fast-charging; for many current electric cars, that’d mean around 100 miles of charge in 35 minutes. Once charging is complete, the robot would return to the vehicle to retrieve the battery wagon.
The system has been designed to be implemented in a range of car parks, equipping the robots with a myriad of sensors and scanners to make sure they can navigate their way around any parking facility.
Volkswagen say that, should the prototype become a reality, they could spark a revolution when it comes to electric car infrastructure as it would “bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around”.
One of the hardest things surrounding electric cars is the implementation of electric charging infrastructure, as more-and-more chargers are required as more electric cars hit the road. That’s where this prototype is different – it could be adopted by any car park without the need for expensive changes and electric charger installations.
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