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Sun 03 January 2021:

Soon enough we’ll all be driving electric cars. This future is already written in stone – various countries already announced when they are going to ban cars with internal combustion engines. But how will we charge all those cars?

Volkswagen is exploring many different possibilities, including special autonomous car-charging robots.

How many charging stations are there where you are usually parking your car? Probably not that many. Now imagine if all the cars in a local parking structure were electric – how all of them would be charged? Infrastructure is getting improved all the time, but it is just not quick enough. And that’s why Volkswagen would like to introduce autonomous charging robots.


These charging robots would work in various parking structures. They could be called via an app or Car-to-X communication. Such a robot would drive itself to the car in need of charging and would autonomously open the charging socket, connect itself and give the car some juice from its internal battery bank.

Probably the most impressive thing is that this process would not involve any people at all. In order to charge several vehicles at the same time, this Volkswagen robot would pull a trailer, leave it with one car and go charge another. Once the job is finished, the robot would go (and take the trailer) to the central charging station.

Obviously, this robot does not have a huge battery itself – it wouldn’t charge a car fully. Instead it would give them some energy to continue going. Volkswagen is seriously developing this invention and the mobile charging robot has successfully reached prototype status.

Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector. We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures. The mobile charging robot and our flexible quick-charging station are just two of these solutions”.

Volkswagen is launching the flexible quick-charging stations early next year, while  the DC wallbox has been trialled at different company’s German production sites for several weeks now.

We still don’t know when the robots could be introduced, but it would be tricky to expect them to start working within the next couple of years. These robots have to perform their job very well, as well as be safe to be around. They would be pretty useless if they drove around the parking lot damaging people’s cars.

Electric cars will give us a huge opportunity to improve our environmental footprint and transport infrastructure. But their spread is also creating some challenges. Who knows, maybe creative solutions like autonomous robots are what it takes to solve those issues.




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