Finding that one free electric car charging spot in a parking garage can be a chore, but if Volkswagen’s new project catches on, the charging spot might come to you instead. The company announced a concept for a mobile charging robot that navigates its way to electric cars and charges them on its own.
The robot would contain a “mobile energy storage device” (a big battery on wheels with about 25kWh worth of energy content). It would be able to communicate with the car, open the charging socket flap and plug in with no human interaction. It’s also fitted with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensor, which would allow it to move freely and go around obstacles. When the charging is complete, the robot would collect the battery and take it back to a base charging station.
Volkswagen envisions the robot’s primary use in parking garages and underground car parks. Depending on the parking area size, several of these robots could be employed at one parking lot.
Why It’s Hot
The limited availability of charging stations is currently a barrier to electric car ownership. This helps ease the burden of finding an available place to charge, while saving the driver time as their car can be charged for them while they go about their day.