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German carmaker Volkswagen has come up with a mobile station for charging electric cars. The concept, inspired by portable cell phone chargers is both practical and environmentally friendly and could meet a wide range of needs in the future, when electric vehicles will grow in number.

Photo and cover photo credits: Volkswagen

Volkswagen has unveiled a new system for charging electric cars, one that could revolutionise the industry, as reported by Numerama. The German car manufacturer revealed its mobile charging system in a press release issued on 27 December, providing details on what could well be a significant development, given what the future appears to hold for clean vehicles. 

Smartphone batteries the inspiration

Volkswagen’s new mobile charging station responds to a variety of needs. As well as being made available to visitors at specific events, it could also be used as a stopgap solution in cities until more complex and costly charging infrastructures are developed.

The carmaker took its inspiration from portable chargers for smartphones. Boasting an impressive charging capacity of 360 kWh, Volkswagen’s mobile station can charge up to 15 cars (four of them at the same time in an average of 17 minutes) and can itself be connected to the power supply for recharging. An environmentally friendly solution, it can store renewable energy (solar and wind) and can also be fitted with used batteries. 

Mass roll-out in 2020

The stations will be trialled in the first half of 2019 in the city of Wolfsburg, where the German company is based, before being rolled out on a wider scale the following year, in time for the launch of Volkswagen’s I.D. range of cars.

Other companies have come up with similar concepts. FreeWire Technologies designed a mobile station called the Mobi Charger as part of a 2015 pilot programme in Mountain View, while the Australian firm GELCOservices created Mobile Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (MEVSE), a portable battery system designed for emergency situations. 

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