Volkswagen mobile charging robot
Since, its the new year lets start with new tech...
It is a robot, looks like a modern wall-e and has one and one job only - Charge your VW EV. This mobile charging robot is an easy solution to finding places to park with a charging station available within a parking structure.
You don't have to carry the robot everywhere, it will be available at underground car parks and public parking structures. All you have to do is park your EV and call the robot via a VW created app or as VW call it V2X communication.
The robot is like wall-e that brings a 50kW battery pack to your car and then attaches it to the charging port of the car. It allows for DC quick charging - that is good thing. The robot is completely autonomous (self driving), is fitted with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors and will be able to move around the parking structure freely. It is designed to bring the battery pack and charge your vehicle completely autonomously. The robots are equipped with 25kWh battery packs themselves so they are pretty good and capable to attend to multiple vehicles at one time.
The robots launch is not set, but, VW plan to install 36,000 charging points across Europe. When these robots start they will be more charging points mobile and hopefully this comes across the world. On the plus side where these charging robots are you don't have to worry about finding a charging point in the parking locations.
I think this is a simple and effective idea. I say this because retrofitting parking structures with DC and fast charging stations are quite expensive and this seems cost effective, easier for us to park a car because these robots come to the car.