To say Volkswagen has ambitious plans for electric vehicles may be an understatement. The automaker projects it will produce 15 million vehicles on its new MEB platform in the first wave of its EV assault, and it will invest 9 billion euros in the new VW I.D. family through 2023. The namesake brand will have 20 electric models in its lineup by 2025, up from just two entries now. To support this barrage of new EVs, Volkswagen is getting ready to introduce mobile quick charging stations.
The charging columns are based on the battery pack used with the automaker’s MEB platform. These stations can be set up in public parking lots, at a company building, or at large events, then removed if no longer needed. VW says the charging process takes an average of 17 minutes. With a battery storage capacity of 360 kilowatt-hours, each station can charge up to 15 electric vehicles. As many as four vehicles can be charged at the same time, two with DC quick-charging connections and two with AC connections. Charging stations that have depleted their energy storage would be exchanged for new ones.
When linked up to a power supply, however, the mobile station can be recharged constantly. The charging stations can be juiced up via solar or wind energy, providing C02 neutrality. Furthermore, VW suggests reusing batteries from electric vehicles to power the stations.
VW hopes the flexibility provided by the temporary stations will accelerate the development of the charging infrastructure. “The mobile charging stations are a decisive step toward an efficient network of charging points,” said Thomas Schmall, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, in a release. “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.”
The first mobile charging stations will appear in Wolfsburg, Germany, in a pilot project as early as the first half of 2019. From 2020, the charging stations will spread to other cities.