Volkswagen is working on a mobile station that can charge electric cars (like the German automaker's upcoming I.D. models) wherever it's needed. Stations like this could be carted in for large-scale events like concerts, supplementing conventional charging stations, VW said in a press release.
The mobile station has its own 360-kilowatt-hour battery pack, allowing it to charge multiple vehicles without being connected to the grid. It includes two DC and two AC plugs. The faster DC plugs can charge at a rate of 100 kilowatts, enabling full recharges in as little as 17 minutes, according to Volkswagen. The automaker said its station could be used for both electric cars and e-bikes.
The station can also charge itself at a rate of 30 kW when plugged into an external power source. That being said, because the station is designed to be moved about, operators can simply swap a station with a depleted battery pack for a station with a charged pack when needed. Stations could also be plugged in to absorb excess electricity and discharge that power during periods of higher demand, helping to balance the grid by smoothing out the peaks and valleys of electricity demand.
As of now, it's unclear when Volkswagen will deploy these charging stations on a large scale. The first stations will be set up in VW's hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany, in 2019 as part of a pilot project. More stations will be deployed in 2020, the automaker said, but no other details were offered.
A comprehensive network of charging stations is essential to get more people buying electric cars, Volkswagen said, including the automaker's planned lineup of I.D. electric models. Globally, the I.D. family will include everything from a basic hatchback to the Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz van (VW won't sell every model in the United States). It's part of a larger plan to launch 50 all-electric models across multiple brands by 2025.