Meet Volkswagen's EV charging robots

Published: 05 January 2021

► VW’s new charging solution
► Coming later this year – in theory
► Designed for cheap, simple electrification of car parks

Volkswagen has revealed a new robot that’ll charge your electric car for you. Still in prototype stages, the robot looks a little like a dustbin, but is designed to grow EV charging infrastructure.

What does it do?

VW’s  robots will move mobile batteries to EVs that need charging, before removing them and putting them back when the cars is ready to go. The robots obviously have light-up faces, while the mobile batteries they herd are slightly smaller – but equally dustbin-shaped. As you’d expect, the whole process will be initiated via an app or Car-to-X comms. 

VW’s electric cars

This solution won’t be used everywhere; instead Volkswagen thinks its charging dustbins make the most sense in small, cramped environments such as underground car parks, where space for conventional chargers is more scarce. We expect them to be vandalised within a week – so hopefully they’re robust.

In addition to being a more efficient use of space, they’d also be easy to retrofit into an existing car park, thereby electrifying it relatively quickly. VW is happy with the solution’s performance in the prototype stage, and the next step will be rolling it out – and hopefully finding charging partners, too.

‘Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector. We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures,’ said homas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group components.

‘The flexible quick-charging station will be launched onto the market in early 2021.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast