Volkswagen has been saying for months now that it plans to introduce a wave of battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. and around the world — as many as 50 vehicles by 2030.
However, as the motoring public begins to take a macro view of life with an EV, one of the questions being asked is where are all of the EV drivers going to recharge when the home charging station isn’t available?
Plenty of companies are stepping up to build charging stations across America; however, Volkswagen isn’t just creating a problem with no solution with this tsunami of EVs is plans to introduce, it’s developed a mobile charging station.
Set to enter a test run in Wolfsburg, Germany – VW’s hometown – early in 2019, these stations can be trucked into a variety of locations on either a permanent or temporary basis, depending upon need. They can charge four vehicles at one time and as many as 15 overall before needing to be replaced with a new one or recharged.
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“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,” said Thomas Schmall, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, in a statement.
“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 a large number of charging stations temporarily – exactly when and where they are needed.”
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. The stations can also be connected directly to a power supply, allowing the station to be charged with up to 30 kW via alternating current.
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This enables charging points for electric vehicles to be set up quickly and simply, without any structural changes or major financial outlay, VW officials note.
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 considerably reduces the strain on the power supply at peak periods, the company added.
A vehicle can be charged in as little as 17 minutes, the automaker says, although it doesn’t make clear if that’s from nearly no charge to full or if it’s to an 80% charge, which is common among most high-speed chargers now.
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In addition to charging off a municipal power grid, the stations are capable of being linked to other power generation sources, such as wind and solar. Their portability makes them easy to set up in parking lots or other temporary events, kind of like charging stations for mobile phones. If the program goes well, it will be expanded to other cities and regions in 2020.