One of the problems with adding electric vehicle charging stations to a network is that it's expensive. Another is that it can place a strain on the local power grid. The Volkswagen Group and a company called E.On reckon they have a solution to both those problems, according to an announcement made on Tuesday.
The solution is -- and this may seem silly -- batteries. See, instead of connecting EV chargers directly to the power grid, the E.On/VW model would see a large battery installed that feeds up to two chargers at 150-kilowatts. The battery gets discharged by the vehicles, and then, once they're done, it's recharged by the grid at between 16 and 63 amps.
Because the battery acting as an intermediary negates the need for much of the hardware that tires to the grid, the E.On/VW stations promise to be cheaper and faster to build. Cool, right? Boring (but essential) stuff like maintenance, updates and billing will be handled remotely by E.On's software systems.
"The flexible ultra-fast charging station developed by us is an important component for a comprehensive network of charging points," said Thomas Schmall, board chairman of Volkswagen Group Components, in a statement. "At the same time, its innovative approach to quick and easy installation enables us to meet the needs of our customers. The cooperation with E.On is an important step towards integrating this technology into the charging infrastructure quickly and in line with demand."
E.On is planning on performing real-world testing on the system in the latter half of 2020 with six chargers spread out along German motorways.