One of the hurdles of widespread EV ownership is the lack of charging infrastructure. Charging station just aren’t numerous or readily accessible enough in some regions for people to feel secure about buying an electric car. Which is why I very much like Volkswagen’s idea of mobile charging stations.
The mobile stations haven’t been rolled out just yet, but Volkswagen envisions them to work like portable power banks but for an electric car. They can be flexibly set up and don’t need a connection to an existing power supply. Up to 15 EVs can be charged with one station, which has a capacity of 360 kWh. The charging process up to approximately 80 percent takes an average of 17 minutes, the automaker claims.
And if the energy in the integrated battery set falls below 20 percent, a fully charged station can be brought in to replace it. But, as Volkswagen notes in its press release:
... if it is permanently attached to the power supply with up to 30 kW via alternating current, the battery pack perpetually recharges itself. In case the charging process is based on renewable Power bank for electric cars – the mobile quick charging station by Volkswagen Group Components power supply, the charging station furthermore allows the temporary storage of sustainably generated power, such as solar or wind energy – and therefore CO2-neutral mobility.
Volkswagen reasons that its mobile stations would be extremely handy in places like public parking lots in cities, places where temporary stations are needed because maybe a permanent charging point doesn’t exist there just yet. The stations would have space for four cars to be charged at once and they apparently can be set up quickly and without “major financial outlay.”
This seems like a pretty great temporary solution for places that need charging stations but haven’t gotten them yet. Or, they can be useful in remote spots that expect a big number of people during a specific time. Like at Burning Man or something.
The first stations will debut in Wolfsburg, Germany, during the first half of this year. It’s unclear if Volkswagen has plans to bring the technology stateside or not, but I hope it does. We have reached out for comment and will update if we hear back.
Update 12:54 p.m. EST: An Electrify America spokesperson responded and said that it has made no announcements regarding mobile charging stations.