Continental unveils autonomous ground-based charging robot for electric cars

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Revolutionizing electric vehicle charging. This is the goal of Continental, which announces that it is developing an autonomous charging robot in partnership with Volterio, an Austrian start-up. Installed on the ground, this charger does not work by induction. It asks to establish a link with the vehicle to work. In order to be recharged this way, electric cars must have a connector on their underbody.

In concrete terms, when a compatible car is parked above this charger, “two components automatically connect via an intelligent system” which works using wireless technology designed to communicate data over short distances. Continental ensures that the car does not need to be parked precisely, as a margin of 30 centimeters is provided for the conical design connector. The positioning angle of the car is also not taken into account.

A system easy to install at home?

Photo d’illustrationCredit Photo – Continental

In the words of the automotive supplier, this new technology “offers many advantages”. The loss of energy during recharging would be minimal thanks to the physical link between the two connectors. The charger also aims to make life easier for motorists, who will no longer have to handle cables to charge their vehicle. Continental says the system is “quick to install”. It could thus be simply screwed to the floor of a garage.

From 22 kW at home

Photo d'illustration

Photo d’illustrationCredit Photo – Continental

Continental specifies that this charger will be offered to individuals in a 22 kW alternating current (AC) version. Charging at home should therefore be rather slow. In a second step, the tire manufacturer and Volterio should release a 50 kW direct current version, rather intended for use as a public charging station. Finally, the idea would be to propose a solution for recharging autonomous vehicles.

Continental and Volterio plan to present a pre-series version of this charger in 2022, before a commercialization envisaged in 2024, for the German market only.

In short

By 2024, Continental wants to market an autonomous charging robot to be installed on the ground in its garage. This will be able to recharge an electric car with a power of 22 kW in alternating current, via a system of connectors. The car does not need to be parked precisely to be charged via this system.

Quentin Gueroult

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