Volkswagen Converting Factory to Manufacture EV Charging Stations
Ever since its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen has been frantically trying to convert its image to something that's more aligned with the future, which just so happens to include electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient options. Volkswagen isn't looking to become just another EV player, either, as it wants to become the largest electric-vehicle manufacturer. In order to do that, VW's going to have to make a lot of chargers, which it's gearing up for.
Volkswagen's new portable, quick-charging stations will be built at the automaker's Hanover components plant. To meet demand for the new fast-charging stations, VW will convert the Hanover plant to accommodate for the eco-friendly future.
"The development of charging infrastructure will be a key factor in the success of e-mobility," said Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. "The charging station is an element in the end-to-end responsibility of Group Components for the high-voltage battery – from the development of cell production competences through to recycling. At the same time, the transformation of heat exchanger production at the Hanover components plant will provide sustainable prospects for the future in the new e-mobility business area."
Currently, the Hanover plant is the automaker's facility for various components, but a flexible charging station will gradually replace production of heat exchangers. Besides giving VW a strong position to introduce electric vehicles and EV components, converting the Hanover plant will also help the automaker hold on to some jobs.
VW claims that employees that are currently working on heat exchangers could quickly switch gears to assist in the development of battery cooling systems for electric cars.
Volkswagen released a preview of its mobile quick charging stations last month. Instead of the current charging stations that EV owners interact with, the automaker's upcoming mobile stations will be able to go to different locations based on demand. If there's a large-scale public event, like the Super Bowl, where a few electric-vehicle owners will be looking for chargers, VW could set them up before to be used and then remove them when the event is over.
The chargers aren't for one or two vehicles, either, but can accommodate up to 15 EVs. Maximum capacity is rated at 360 kWh, which will allow for a fast-charging feature that can provide vehicles with 80 percent of a full charge in just 17 minutes.
Ingeniously, the charging stations can charge more than just electric vehicles. VW knows the future of green vehicles isn't exclusive to cars, but includes things like scooters and bicycles.
Production for these innovative fast-charging stations will begin in 2020, though VW has plans to introduce the flexible charging stations in the city of Wolfsburg this summer. The automaker is looking to outside partners to possibly help with the production of the chargers or with the widespread adoption of the components.
Mobile fast-charging stations will help Volkswagen reach its towering goal of selling at least 150,000 electric vehicles by 2020.
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