Volkswagen Offers First Look at Mobile Charging Station on Volkswagen Quick-Charging Station Concept

Charging takes 17 minutes on average to ~28 kWh. This is ~80% of the charging capacity of the current e-Golf [e-Golf: Power consumption in kWh/100 km: 14.1 to 13.2 (combined), CO2 emissions in g/km: 0 (combined), efficiency class: A+]. Both the car and charging station are vaporware at the moment.

Volkswagen is showing a mobile quick-charging station that it says can be set up flexibly and independent of the power supply wherever it is needed. In theory, it will appear in public parking lots in the city, on company premises, or as a temporary charging point at large-scale events.

The mobile charging station works like a power bank does with smartphones, but for electric vehicles instead. The charging capacity of up to 360 kWh enables up to 15 e-vehicles, including members of Volkswagen’s new ID line (Rerun – Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Cargo at Los Angeles Show )to be charged in stand-alone operation. (Automobility LA – Fast EV Charging Network Plugged and Supported by Volkswagen Subsidiary Electrify America)

Charging takes 17 minutes on average. If the energy content of the integrated battery set is less than 20%, the depleted charging station is simply exchanged for a charged one. If, however, it is permanently attached to the power supply with up to 30 kW via alternating current, the battery pack perpetually recharges itself. In case the charging process is based on renewable Power bank for electric cars – the mobile quick charging station by Volkswagen, the charging station furthermore allows the temporary storage of sustainably generated power, such as solar or wind energy – and therefore CO2-neutral mobility.

The first mobile quick charging stations will be set up as early as the first half of 2019 in Volkswagen’s hometown of Wolfsburg as part of a pilot project, and will support the expansion of a charging infrastructure in the urban area. As of 2020, the charging station will also be implemented in other cities and communities.

“The mobile charging stations are a decisive step toward an efficient network of charging points. They can be set up anywhere as required – with or without connection to the power supply,” says Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components. “This flexibility enables a completely new approach for the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure. Cities can, for example, find out the most suitable places for a permanent charging point before making major investments in developing the network. In addition, it will be possible to set up many charging stations temporarily – exactly when and where they are needed.”

The mobile charging stations can be set up at defined points spread out across a city. The flexible locations can be easily found via the Internet or apps. Each charging station enables DC quick charging with up to 100 kW. In addition to electric cars, e-bikes can also be charged. Up to four vehicles can be charged simultaneously: two with DC and two with AC connections. The total battery storage capacity of up to 360 kWh is enough for up to 15 e- vehicles.

There is also the possibility of connecting to the power supply directly, allowing the station to be charged with up to 30 kW via alternating current by means of a permanent standard grid connection. This enables charging points for electric vehicles to be set up quickly and simply, without any structural changes or major financial outlay. The battery pack in the charging station can be recharged around the clock thanks to the direct power connection. This time-independent recharging, and therefore buffering of power, also in theory reduces the strain on the power supply at peak periods.

“Our mobile charging stations offer a further crucial advantage,” says Mark Möller, Head of Technical Development at Volkswagen Group Components. “It is only when an electric car is charged with sustainably generated power that it can claim CO2-neutral mobility. Our charging station is the first to offer the possibility of temporarily storing sustainably generated power.”

That is if the charging station can be charged specifically with solar or wind energy, which is then transmitted to the electric vehicles during charging. Technically, the mobile charging column is based on the battery pack of the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB).

This claims VW – not without self-interest – the advantage of quick scalability and, on the other hand, the charging station allows batteries from electric vehicles to have a second life. This is because a battery loses charging capacity over time. If a vehicle battery has a defined, reduced residual capacity, it is exchanged. If this battery subsequently passes analysis, it can be reused in a mobile charging station.

An efficient network of charging points is regarded as one of the basic infrastructural prerequisites for convincing customers to buy electric vehicles but it is fraught with political and competing interest conflicts.  VW says this is one of the major challenges it and others must tackle to ensure the breakthrough of e-mobility.

As of January 1, 2019, the Components division is now an independent business unit within the Volkswagen Group. The mobile charging station is an in-house development with the goal of developing a closed life-cycle for the battery. The start of production, as noted, is planned for 2020.

Group Components
Volkswagen Group Components is an independent business unit under Volkswagen AG responsible for the development and manufacture of strategic components for the vehicle-producing brands of the Group. In five business areas – engine and foundry, gearbox and electric drive, chassis, seats and e-mobility – 80,000 employees work in 61 plants worldwide at 47 production sites. They develop and manufacture vehicle components, shape future topics such as charging infrastructure or battery recycling, and thus it is hoped make a crucial and valuable contribution to the Volkswagen Group, its brands and products. The Chairman of the Board of Management of Group Components is Thomas Schmall.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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