AI robot may be the future of EV charging

Together with startup Volterio, Continental Engineering Services (CES) is developing an intelligent charging robot that is intended to make filling up with electricity much easier and more convenient in the future. The fully automatic charging solution comprises two components: one unit in the underbody of the vehicle and another on the garage floor. As soon as the car is parked, the two components connect automatically via a smart system, which among other options is controlled via ultra-broadband—a radio-based communication technology for short-range data transmission.

“Our charging robot is a real step in the evolution of making electric mobility more convenient and suitable for everyday use,” explains Dr. Christoph Falk-Gierlinger, managing director of CES.

Volterio will develop the first near-production systems for the jointly-designed charging robot by mid-2022, when CES meeting all necessary certification criteria of the automotive industry, it will then also develop the system to production maturity and ultimately take over the production of the charging robot.

The innovative charging solution is initially provided for use in private households with a suitable rating of 22 kW alternating current. The solution is a retrofit, so it can be retrofitted in existing model variants of vehicles. In a second step, a fast charging solution for public areas that can be retracted into the ground will be developed, for example for parking garages, filling stations or factory areas with a charging capacity of more than 50 kW direct current.

According to the companies’ joint press release, “a practical advantage of this is that the car does not have to be parked accurately. The charging robot corrects for deviation of up to 30 centimeters from the ideal parking position. In addition, it is irrelevant what angle a vehicle is positioned in relation to the floor unit. The conical design of the physical connector between the floor and vehicle unit permits any alignment and orientation between the units.”

“With Volterio, we have the ideal partner for developing an efficient and simple solution for charging electric vehicles,” says Falk-Gierlinger. “Through this cooperation, we are combining the creativity and flexibility of a young start-up with the development experience and automotive expertise of Continental Engineering Services.”

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