(Pocket-lint) – Last year, Volkswagen unveiled its vision for the future of electric car charging: autonomous robots. Now it has released a video showing the prototype in operation.
Electric vehicle owners can park in any space and the cute mobile charging bot will travel to the car, plug itself into the charging port and “fill ‘er up”.
One of the beauties of this is that you won’t have to hunt down the one or two dedicated spaces with EV charging points in a single-level or multistory car park.
The process is fairly simple too. You call the robot charger using an app, which communicates with your car to identify how much of a top up your car battery needs, which then calls the robot.
The robot itself isn’t what charges the car. This autonomous mobile robot is essentially a battery porter.
After being summoned, it collects a battery wagon (each one can hold 25kWh energy), brings it to your car, plugs it in and then waits for the signal to collect it.
Each battery wagon (or energy storage device) can deliver fast charging up to 50kW to the vehicle.
The robot is fitted with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors so that it can drive itself to your car, and avoid collisions with other cars or obstacles in a parking lot (whether they’re stationary or moving).
While this is certainly a lot more convenient for electric vehicle owners than having to search out a dedicated charging bay in a large parking lot, it’s also means that electrifying a parking space is much simpler for parking lot owners.
Away from prototypes, the company has already stated that it will be installing 36,000 charging ports across Europe by 2025. It’s also launching a charging solution people can have installed in their homes. In addition, VW will roll out flexible charging stations from 2021 as part of its fully electric future.
There’s no news on when or even if the robot will be available though, sadly.
Writing by Cam Bunton and Rik Henderson.