Volkswagen, through its Components division (an independent business unit within the Volkswagen Group since January 1, 2019), has previewed the new Mobile Charging Station (MCS) concept. Essentially a high-capacity power bank for cars, the MCS can be set up flexibly at any given parts of a city, the locations of which can be easily identified online or through apps.

Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, Thomas Schmall said “the mobile charging stations can be set up anywhere as required, with or without connection to the power supply. This flexibility enables a completely new approach for the 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. In addition, it will be possible to set up a large number of charging stations temporarily – exactly when and where they are needed,” he added.

Each charging station enables DC quick charging with up to 100 kW. Besides charging electric cars, electric bikes can also make use of the charging station. Up to four vehicles can be charged simultaneously, and the station features two DC and two AC connections. The total battery storage capacity of up to 360 kWh is enough to supply juice for up to 15 electric vehicles, with an average charge time of 17 minutes thanks to quick charging tech.

But what if the gigantic power bank runs dry? It’s a good thing you asked. Volkswagen said if the energy content drops to under 20%, it will be exchanged for a charged one. There’s also the possibility of connecting the MCS directly to the power grid, allowing it to be charged via alternating current (up to 30 kW) around the clock. But wait, there’s more.

Company chief of technical development, Mark Möller said “our mobile charging stations offer a further crucial advantage – it is only when an electric car is charged with sustainably generated power that it can claim CO2-neutral mobility.”

“Our charging station is the first to offer the possibility of temporarily storing sustainably generated power,” he said. For example, the charging station can be charged with solar or wind energy, which is then transmitted to the EVs during charging.

Technically, the mobile charging column is based on the battery pack of the Group’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This offers quick scalability, and the charging station allows batteries from EVs to have a second life. This is because a battery loses charging capacity over time. If a vehicle battery has a defined, reduced residual capacity, it is exchanged. If this battery subsequently passes a thorough analysis, it can be reused in a mobile charging station.

The first stations will be deployed as early as within the first half of 2019 in Wolfsburg as part of a pilot project, and will support the expansion of a charging infrastructure in the urban area. As of 2020, the charging station will also be implemented in other cities and communities, possibly in large-scale events as well.