The market share of electric vehicles keeps rising and so does the demand for EV charging facilities. That means it’s necessary for companies from various sectors to come together and develop more efficient and intelligent charging methods. One such method is a fully automatic charging robot system, jointly developed by automotive parts manufacturing company Continental and Volterio, and an Austrian startup specialising in automatic EV charging solutions.
The “robot” element of the charging system is not immediately apparent in its appearance but can be found more in how the connection and charging are handled in a smart way. Developed to be used by car owners in their private garages, the system is composed of two units: one is placed on the floor of the garage, and the other is fitted to the underbody of the vehicle. As the two components connect automatically via ultra-broadband, it’s not necessary for the owner to park the car precisely for the system to work – a deviation of up to 30 cm from the ideal parking position can be automatically corrected by the charging robot. The angle between the two is also aligned, then the physical docking of the units happens and charging automatically begins. Unlike wireless inductive charging, using a physical connection means that hardly any energy is lost during the process.
The near-production prototype should be ready by mid-2022, at which time Continental will take over the development and commence volume production in 2024 in Germany.