As Volkswagen ramps up its efforts to put millions of electric vehicles on the road, like the all-electric microbus I.D. Buzz, it’s also looking into how to charge the EVs up. This year it will introduce a new, mobile charging and energy storage unit that could be powered by renewables in remote locations and charge up to 15 EVs on one charge and power up four vehicles at a time.
The German auto manufacturer said that the charging stations are designed for flexibility. It’s the latest step from an auto manufacturer to innovate in the EV charger space.
“The mobile charging stations are a decisive step toward an efficient network of charging points. They can be set up anywhere as required—with or without connection to the power supply. This flexibility enables a completely new approach for the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure,” explained Thomas Schmall, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components.
“Cities can, for example, find out the most suitable places for a permanent charging point before making major investments in developing the network. In addition, it will be possible to set up a large number of charging stations temporarily—exactly when and where they are needed,” Schmall said.
The devices can be integrated into the electric grid in places like parking lots. In such a situation the charger would continually recharge its energy storage system while also charging EVs.
“Our mobile charging stations offer a further crucial advantage,” said Mark Möller, head of Technical Development at Volkswagen Group Components. “It is only when an electric car is charged with sustainably generated power that it can claim CO2-neutral mobility. Our charging station is the first to offer the possibility of temporarily storing sustainably generated power.”
If installed at a large event, like a multi-day music festival, the station could be powered by wind or solar, Volkswagen previously partnered with SunPower to provide home charging, if the electric grid can’t connect to it. It can also serve as essentially a battery bank for charging cars and e-bikes is it’s not being charged by renewable energy and replaced with another station if its battery system is depleted to 20 percent of its capacity.
The mobile chargers are also capable of quick charging EVs. Volkswagen said the device can supply an EV with about 28 kilowatt hours of electricity within about 17 minutes—about 80 percent of the capacity of its eGolf.
Volkswagen plans to install its first mobile quick charging stations in its hometown, staring within the first half of 2019 as part of a pilot project. It plans to expand its charging infrastructure in the urban area and will start implementing the mobile station into other cities and communities in 2020.Tweet