After unveiling a concept for a mobile fast-charging station powered by a 360 kWh battery pack last month, Volkswagen announces today that it plans to bring the product to market and manufacture it itself at its Hanover components plant.
When unveiling the fast-charging station concept, the German automaker described the system:
“The mobile charging stations can be set up at defined points, for example, spread out across a city. The flexible locations can be easily found via the Internet or apps. Each charging station enables DC quick charging with up to 100 kW. In addition to electric cars, e-bikes can also be charged. Up to four vehicles can be charged simultaneously: two with DC and two with AC connections. The total battery storage capacity of up to 360 kWh is sufficient for up to 15 e-vehicles. There is also the possibility of connecting to the power supply directly, allowing the station to be charged with up to 30 kW via alternating current by means of a permanent standard grid connection. This enables charging points for electric vehicles to be set up quickly and simply, without any structural changes or major financial outlay. The battery pack in the charging station can be recharged around the clock thanks to the direct power connection. This time-independent recharging, and therefore buffering of power, also considerably reduces the strain on the power supply at peak periods.”
The large “up to 360 kWh” energy storage system is based on the same battery pack found in the MEB platform on which all of Volkswagen’s upcoming new electric vehicles are based.
With only a few sketches to show for and VW talking about a pilot project with the station later this year, it sounded more like a concept than a product going to production, but Volkswagen announced that it has been greenlighted to go to production.
Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, commented on the announcement:
“The development of charging infrastructure will be a key factor in the success of e-mobility. The flexible fast charging station developed by Group Components can make a key contribution in this area. This is confirmed by the considerable interest shown by potential partners. The charging station is an element in the end-to-end responsibility of Group Components for the high-voltage battery – from the development of cell production competences through to recycling. At the same time, the transformation of heat exchanger production at the Hanover components plant will provide sustainable prospects for the future in the new e-mobility business area.”
The German automaker is highlighting this as a good example on how electric mobility is affecting manufacturing because the new product is going to “gradually replace heat exchanger production, forming part of the engine and foundry business area” at the Hanover plant.
The pilot project is still planned for later this year and VW expects to start production in 2020.
Other companies are also working on charging solutions that can be deployed quickly with battery packs or using battery packs to mitigate the power needs of a charging station.
Volvo recently invested in mobile electric car charging startup FreeWire and NIO is charging vehicles with electric vans equipped with additional battery packs.
Tesla as also been adding Powerpacks to its own Superchargers, which kept a charging station online during a power outage last year.