German car manufacturer Volkswagen has announced a technology that can potentially turn any car parking space into an electric car charging location. The robot is summoned either by a driver’s
smartphone app or using vehicle-to-X communication and can communicate independently with the car, opening the charging port and attaching and decoupling the charging cable without any human input. Each robot can tow multiple “battery wagons”, each of which is equipped with a 25kWh power plant capable of DC charging at up to 50kW. After connecting a wagon to a vehicle, the robot moves on to the next car, returning once the charging is complete. The robots are equipped with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors to help them find their way around car parks without damaging any vehicles or running over any unobservant pedestrians. Volkswagen believe that this will start a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multi-storey car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because they bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this set-up, they think that they can make almost every car park a recharging station, without the need for complex infrastructure retrofits. The robot is currently in prototype stage but, could be made a reality as the demand for EV cars far outstrips the addition of EV recharging sites.