Volkswagen has just published a few images of the mobile charging station for electric vehicles it is working on. The system allows for recharging vehicles outside of areas that currently feature a charging station network.
VW also says the mobile system will allow local government to plan the expansion of charging networks in the most efficient effective way possible.
"The mobile charging station works according to the principle of a power bank - which is familiar to many people with smartphones - but for electric vehicles instead."
Each of the mobile stations will have a 260-kWh capacity, meaning it can recharge 15 EVs, and four vehicles can be hooked up simultaneously. Latest-generation technologies in the system mean that a full recharge takes only 20 minutes.
Just like mobile chargers for smartphones, these mobile EV chargers will themselves need to be recharged, which will require transporting them to where this can be done so they can be hooked up to an existing network.
Volkswagen foresees its chargers being used principally in two ways. They could, as mentioned, be used in more remote areas still out of reach of existing charging infrastructure; or they could be set up in places and events, like outdoors concerts, where large numbers of people will show up for short periods of time.
This would be a way to provide EV recharging capabilities in areas where it would be hard to justify a massive investment in building up permanent infrastructure.
This potential use could by itself prove the worth of VW’s new technology. There will be the question of transporting the mobile chargers to contend with, but that doesn’t seem to be an insurmountable hurdle.
The second way the system could prove its useful is to local and state governments. Placing the mobile chargers in various places would allow authorities to determine which areas would be good candidates for building permanent infrastructure – and, conversely, which ones wouldn’t be.
The first mobile stations will be rolled out by Volkswagen in the city of Wolfsburg in the coming months as part of a pilot project. Large-scale production of the mobile chargers is scheduled for 2020, and at that point it will be expanded to other areas.