Automatic charging: First near-series charging robot systems in mid-2022

Continental’s development and production service provider Continental Engineering Services (CES) is working with the start-up company Volterio to develop an intelligent charging robot that will make charging with electricity much easier and more convenient in the future. CES and Volterio have now officially entered into a partnership for this. CES will develop the first near-series systems for the jointly designed charging robot by mid-2022. CES meets all the certification criteria required by the automotive industry. Series production of the system is planned for 2024 and will take place in Germany. The innovative development once again underscores the strategic focus of Continental Engineering Services on sustainable technology and service solutions. In particular, intelligent charging solutions for electric vehicles are crucial milestones on the way to comprehensive, environmentally friendly, sustainable mobility.

The fully automatic charging solution consists of two components: a unit on the underbody of the vehicle and a unit placed on the garage floor. As soon as the car is parked, both components connect via a smart automatic system that is controlled, among other things, via ultra broadband – ultra broadband is a radio-based communication technology for data transmission at close range. An advantage that is suitable for everyday use: the car does not have to be parked accurately. The loading robot corrects deviations of up to 30 centimeters from the ideal parking position. The angle at which a vehicle is positioned in relation to the ground unit is irrelevant. A cone-shaped design of the physical connector between the ground and vehicle units allows any positioning orientation in a full 360-degree radius.

The main advantages of the innovative loading robot

The new technology offers many advantages. For example, the energy flows via a physical connection in exactly the same way as with conventional charging stations. The advantage: When you fill up with energy with the charging robot – in contrast to wireless inductive charging via a magnetic field – hardly any energy is lost. This solution is therefore particularly sustainable and resource-saving. Charging with the help of robot technology is also very convenient. Because unlike charging stations, users no longer have to worry about anything, i.e. they don’t have to handle charging cables that may be dirty or rain-soaked in narrow garages. The loading process runs completely automatically. Furthermore, the communication between the ground and vehicle unit via ultra-broadband ensures that the vehicle and charging robot approach each other with centimeter accuracy – the user can park relatively casually, the technology forgives deviations. The system is also quick and easy to install. The floor unit, for example, can simply be placed on the garage floor or screwed there.

The technology already offers what will be essential in the future: if vehicles drive fully automatically and park independently in multi-storey car parks, automated charging solutions will be part of everyday automotive life.

The innovative charging solution will initially be provided for use in private households with a suitable output of 22 kW alternating current. The solution is “retrofit”, which means that it can also be retrofitted to existing model variants of vehicles. In a second step, a quick-charging solution that can be lowered into the ground for public spaces is being developed, which can be used in parking garages, petrol stations or on business premises with a charging capacity of more than 50 kW direct current. This also includes corresponding variants for the fleet management of commercial vehicles, for example.

You can read this and other articles on the subject of mobility 4.0 electrically-connected-autonomously in the current issue of the eMove360° magazine in german language. Download here for free or order the printed copy in the shop.

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21.03.2022   |  

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