Volkswagen Starts Pilot Phase for DC Wallbox Chargers
The Volkswagen Group Components brand develops innovations for the electric mobility of today, tomorrow and beyond. One focus is on innovative charging concepts. Following flexible charging stations and mobile charging robots, the company now presents its newest product: the innovative DC wallbox, which charges up to 22 kW. Currently, real operation will be starting at five sites as part of a pilot phase. The goal is to gather practical experience in order to develop the DC wallbox quickly in the direction of series production.
With the new wallbox, electric vehicles can be charged with direct current up to 22 kW – which is about double the speed of a typical wallbox working with alternating current. In charging technology based on direct current, the electricity flows directly into the lead traction battery, provided that the electric vehicle features a combined charging system charging port. Unlike systems based on alternating current, electric vehicles are charged independently of their integrated on-board chargers that limit charging capacity. Charging the lead traction battery with a direct current, on the other hand, increases the potential charging capacity when compared with alternating current. The charging process can therefore be significantly shortened.
As an innovative detail with prospects for the future, the DC wallbox will already be prepared for bi-directional charging. Thus, power can flow in two directions with the wallbox: the power stored in the lead traction vehicle battery can be returned to the grid, if necessary, thanks to an intelligent charging management. In future, electric vehicles that feature this function can, for example, serve as a power storage unit for private homes or as a buffer for the power grid.
In order to gather experience with the new product, Volkswagen Group Components has started the pilot phase at its own factory sites in Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Hannover, Salzgitter and Kassel with 20 DC wallboxes. This also means that the existing charging infrastructure will be expanded at the factory grounds. As the number of electric vehicles increases, the need for charging options also increases within the Volkswagen Group.