The installation costs and large footprint of current DC fast-charging stations has slowed their deployment, but Volkswagen has a plan to speed things up.
The German automaker has partnered with energy-infrastructure company E.ON to develop a more streamlined fast-charging setup.
What Volkswagen describes as a "plug and play" setup will allow charging stations to be quickly placed on site and put into operation with minimal fuss.
To do that, the stations will rely on stationary battery packs for most of their power. Those packs will in turn be connected to the grid.
A single station could charge two electric cars at 150 kilowatts at the same time, adding 200 kilometers (124 miles) of range in 15 minutes, according to Volkswagen.
The Electrify America charging network (which is funded by Volkswagen diesel-emissions penalties) already uses Tesla-supplied battery buffers at some charging stations. EVgo has tested battery buffers as well.
These battery packs provide an extra source of electricity for occasional periods of high demand, such as when multiple cars pull up to a charging station at once. But surely, this type of charging station wouldn't be used in locations that see a constant stream of cars needing to be charged.
Volkswagen ID 3
Volkswagen and E.ON also appear to be using batteries to minimize the amount of work needed to install a DC fast-charging station. The solution described by the two companies is somewhere between permanent installations and the mobile charging stations also proposed by Volkswagen.
The automaker previously discussing mobile charging stations that rely solely on batteries, allowing them to be easily picked up and carted off to a new location as needed. This charging solution still involves a connection to the grid, but with a less-complex setup than permanent fast-charging stations.
E.ON will begin testing the new charging concept at six highway gas stations later this year, followed by a full commercial launch on the German market, according to Volkswagen.
Volkswagen of America told Green Car Reports that it has no plans to deploy such chargers in the U.S.; but VW-funded Electrify America is steadily building out its network of fast-charging stations, and it's an idea that might possibly find some traction as EA fills its network into some of the roads less traveled.