Volkswagen has unveiled a working prototype of an autonomous charging robot for electric cars. Volkswagen has been working on the concept for several years, but this is the first working prototype we’ve seen.
The concept originally came as a solution for residential charging. Instead of installing a charging station at each resident’s parking spot in underground parking garages, Volkswagen revealed its plan to develop a robot equipped with a DC charging system that would connect to electric vehicle’s battery packs to autonomously charge them.
Volkswagen also explained how the autonomous charging system works: “The charging robot—started via an app or Car-to-X communication—operates totally autonomously. It independently steers to the vehicle to be charged and communicates with it: from opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug and decoupling it. The entire charging process takes place without any human involvement whatsoever. To charge several vehicles at the same time, the mobile robot moves a mobile energy storage unit to the vehicle, connects it, and then uses this energy storage unit to charge the vehicle and repeats the process to charge other vehicles. Once the vehicle is fully charged, the robot independently collects the mobile energy storage unit and takes it back to the central charging station.”
According to the automaker, depending on the development of the prototype, it could be on its way to the market sooner rather than later. The mobile charging robot was previously reported to be equipped with a 25 kWh battery pack can charge a vehicle at 50 kW through DC fast-charging.