Robotic charging project will launch real-world testing
A robotic charging consortium with mighty players such as Ionity, Porsche, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, TÜV Süd and others has formed in Germany. Under ROCIN-ECO, they want to drive standards for automated charging and deliver demonstrators at test sites.
According to project partner Rocsys, already a provider of autonomous charging solutions, the consortium’s vision is to equip fast-charging sites along European motorways with one or more robotic charging lanes that enable fully automated charging of electric cars in 15 to 30 minutes. The consortium also claims their innovation could reduce charging times by 15% by eliminating human factors.
ROCIN-ECO is short for Robotic Charging Infrastructure Ecosystem. Apart from the real-life demonstration, the consortium will work to introduce and harmonise standards.
Crijn Bouman, CEO and co-founder of Rocsys, said, “Autonomous charging can only be successful with a fully interoperable approach between the charging infrastructure and electric vehicles.” He added that such a connected and integrated approach must include harmonisation efforts as “a prerequisite to success”.
Project partner Now GmbH added that their realisation would be the only vendor-independent solution focussing on non-discrimination and standardisation. “The practical approach considering public use cases as well as safe soft robot technology and high charging performance set ROCIN-ECO apart from other projects,” they said.
In concrete terms, system requirements, particularly for the communication interfaces between the robot, charging station and vehicle, are central to the project. The partners will define these based on user requirements, use cases and technical requirements and proposed in standardisation committees.
The solution consists of a robot charger that autonomously handles the charging cable and connects it to an electric vehicle. Therefore, essential components of the ROCIN-ECO system are optimised HPC cables, automated charging flaps on the car and interfaces.
Once built and established, the demonstrator/prototype on a test site will be open to all automotive OEMs.
The full list of partners is as follows: Ionity, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ford, Rocsys, Huber+Suhner, TÜV Süd and AVL List.