Volkswagen Launches DC Wallbox Pilot Project In Germany

Are they considering charging the ID. cars with DC current at home?

Volkswagen is launching in five German cities – Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Hannover, Salzgitter and Kassel – a new pilot project to test and gather practical experience of using new 22 kW DC wallbox, developed by Volkswagen Group Components to eventually start series production in the future.

Since the currently available ID. models are equipped with 7.2 kW single-phase or 11 kW three-phase on-board chargers in Europe, the switch to 22 kW would cut charging time in half.

Of course, the same result comes if the cars were equipped with 22 kW on-board chargers and connected to a 22 kW three-phase AC charging point, but the alternative way of using DC is also interesting.

The advantage of the DC charger is that any car compatible with the CCS Combo 2 standard would be able to utilize the 22 kW, regardless of the on-board charger. In the future, a DC wallbox could be used also for bi-directional charging, or even integration with the home solar installation and battery energy storage. Audi is working on something like this, and Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group.

“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.”

Anyway, the pilot project is limited to 20 units. Hopefully, we will hear in 6-12 months how those chargers cope in various applications – home or work charging – and whether they are a viable option. They have to prove they are worth the extra cost compared to the AC path.

Mark Möller, head of the Technical Development & Electric Mobility division:

“An extensive and needs-based charging structure is the key to the success of electric vehicles. That is why we are working on various approaches that enable customer-oriented, intelligent and flexible charging. Like our flexible quick charging station and the visionary prototype of a mobile charging robot, the DC wallbox is one of the future innovations of the DC charging family for electric vehicles.”

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