Continental Engineering Services (CES), Continental’s development and production service provider, and the startup Volterio have entered into a partnership to develop an intelligent charging robot to make charging easier. The first near-series systems are planned for mid-2022.
According to Continental, CES meets all the necessary certification criteria of the automotive industry. Series production of the system is planned for 2024 and is to take place in Germany. The two companies had already been working independently on similar solutions. In the cooperation that has now been announced, they are combining their competencies in order to quickly develop a solution that corresponds to the everyday life of electromobility.
The planned fully automatic charging solution consists of two components: a unit on the underbody of the vehicle and a unit placed on the garage floor. While Continental goes into more detail about the charging process and the use of the garage floor unit, hardly any information is given about the unit planned for the vehicle. The press release merely states that the solution is “retrofit”, meaning that it can also be retrofitted in existing model variants of vehicles.
The charging solution is initially intended for use in private households and is to be provided with an output of 22 kW AC. As soon as the car is parked, both components connect via a smart automatic system that is controlled by ultra-wideband, a radio-based communication technology for data transmission at close range. The vehicle does not have to be parked accurately, as the charging robot corrects a deviation of 30 centimetres from the ideal parking position.
The energy is supplied to the vehicle via a physical connection, just like at conventional charging stations. The charging process is completely automatic. The system is uncomplicated and quick to install. The floor unit can be placed on the garage floor or screwed to it.
Later, a quick-charging solution that can be lowered into the ground is to be developed for public spaces, which can then be used in car parks, petrol stations or on company premises with a charging capacity of more than 50 kW direct current, for example. CSE also wants to realise variants for fleet management of commercial vehicles, for example.
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