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VW Readies Automated EV Charging System

VW Readies Automated EV Charging System

Charging an electric vehicle soon may get a lot easier…if you’re in a garage equipped with Volkswagen Group’s “mobile charging robot.”

Sci-Fi in Action

The futuristic droid-like bot, which was shown in concept form late last year and has since moved onto the prototyping phase, autonomously transports itself—with an energy storage unit in tow—to wherever a vehicle is parked in the garage when summoned via an app or V2X communication.

Communicating directly with the vehicle, the robot’s extendable arm can open the on-board charging portal and connect the EV to the charger. After the process is completed, the robot decouples the connector and returns the portable battery to a central quick charging station dock to be replenished itself.

Mayflower Consulting
Nissan Aims to Forge Tech Alliances with Suppliers

To say that Nissan’s supplier relationships aren’t very good would be a huge understatement.

The carmaker has consistently scored near the bottom of the annual North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index. This year, Nissan was dead last of the six OEMs ranked, finishing well behind perennial leaders Toyota and Honda.

Help Needed

But suppliers are expected to play a key part of the smaller Japanese carmaker’s latest turnaround plans, which include cutting costs by $2.9 billion yen, launching a dozen new products—while trimming its global lineup—and transitioning to autonomous, electrified and connected technologies.

Changing Tactics

Under former CEO Carlos Ghosn, Nissan was able to streamline its supply base and convince those who ...READ MORE

LMC Automotive
Toshiba Touts Electric Motor Breakthrough

Ten 1-gigawatt power plants could be closed if all the electric motors in the world switched to a magnetic wedge design being developed by Toshiba, the supplier claims.

As a reference, there are only a few dozen 1-GW or larger facilities in the world. (China’s Three Gorges Dam facility is the largest with an annual capacity of 22.5 GW.)

Why it Matters

Most power plants still run on non-reusable energy (i.e., coal, natural gas and peat) that generate harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric motors account for half of the world's electric power consumption. Thus any improvements can have a positive global impact.

How It Works

Toshiba says its magnetic material can significantly boost energy conversion efficiency when it is used in a motor’s wedges—the groves ...READ MORE

Revolutionary Hydrogen Storage Tank Design Could Propel H2 Deployment

While gasoline as an automotive fuel seems to be losing ground when it comes to new developments, gas—as in hydrogen, for example—is gaining considerable ground. There is plenty of activity going on in this space, whether it is the second-generation Toyota Mirai or the Class 8 trucks that companies like Cummins and Navistar are collaborating on.

While there is considerable attention being paid to the development of fuel-cell stacks, Chris Kondogiani, principal, Noble Gas Systems, says, “We see a lot of forward-looking projections for hydrogen fuel-cell adoption. Our focus is on solving the hydrogen storage.”

In most cases, hydrogen storage for vehicles are composite-wrapped cylinders. Often, there will be safety demonstrations that have someone firing a bullet at ...READ MORE

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