Just as how we use portable batteries to top-up our smartphones on the go, Volkswagen has developed a similar system for electric cars.
Called the Mobile Charging Station, it is basically a big battery pack which is portable and can be used to recharge electric vehicles at locations away from regular chargers connected to the grid.
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Volkswagen suggests that the battery pack could be used in public parking lots, on company premises, or as a temporary charging point at large-scale events. We can see the battery being particularly useful at festivals which take place away from towns and cities. That way, visitors staying for the weekend could top up their car before heading home.
The company says the charging system works with its existing electric vehicles, like the VW e-Golf, and will also power members of VW's upcoming I.D. electric vehicle family. The first I.D. car, a hatchback similar in size to a Golf, is due to go on sale in 2019.
VW says the mobile charging system can refill the battery of an e-Golf from 20 percent to 80 percent in 17 minutes. The battery is 360kWh in size, which is around four times larger than the biggest battery currently used by most electric car manufacturers.
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Once the portable battery falls below 20 percent, it is swapped out for a fully charged one. Alternatively, the charging pack can be wired into the grid like a regular charging point. It can also be recharged using renewable energy sources, like solar and wind energy, thus becoming carbon-neutral.
The company said: "The first mobile quick charging stations will be set up as early as the first half of 2019 in Volkswagen's hometown [Wolfsburg, Germany] as part of a pilot project, and will support the expansion of a charging infrastructure in the urban area."
Thomas Schmall, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Group Components, said: "They can be set up anywhere...This flexibility enables a completely new approach for rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure. Cities can, for example, find out the most suitable places for a permanent charging point before making major investments in developing the network."
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