VOLTERIO GmbH – Revolution in the charging process of electric cars

igu-award-adm | July 23, 2020

VOLTERIO, an innovative deep tech startup, has set itself the goal of revolutionising electric vehicle charging with a completely automated charging system. The VOLTERIO charging robot was developed in collaboration with the global leaders in premium automotive manufacture, and automatically establishes a conductive connection to a new kind of interface on the vehicle underbody for automatic charging at any time. The vehicle need only be parked approximately over the very low-profile, compact charging robot. The system offers not only greatly enhanced convenience for all electromobility users, since it eliminates cumbersome cable manipulation, but is an indispensable technology for a future when streets belong to autonomous vehicles and robot taxis.

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Constant charging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is cumbersome and nerve-wracking, especially when the heavy charging cables are tangled, dirty or wet and the plug won’t plug in. So far, there has not been a practical solution for automated charging, since the much-touted inductive charging systems are too expensive, lose too much current, exhibit insufficient charging performance and require precise parking. That is why no inductive system has been able to establish itself on the market so far.
The VOLTERIO charging system is an extremely low-cost robot that has essentially the same charging standard and safety functions as a normal, cabled charging system, but with the great advantage that the cable essentially plugs itself in. This allows convenient charging that loses almost no current with high AC and DC charging performance, has no dangerous stray electromagnetic fields, and requires no manual intervention whatsoever. Everything works completely automatically. It also means that you can’t forget to charge your car. At the moment, all relevant standardisation committees are working with the large automotive manufacturers to create a global standard for automatic underbody charging, and will define the global standard for convenient charging in the not-too-distant future.

The success of charging robots depends on their functioning with absolute reliability and as little maintenance as possible throughout a vehicle service life of 10-15 years. It was therefore an obvious choice to eliminate lubrication for the many moving robot parts and instead use robust, durable drylin drive technology components.
The robotics must also be able to handle any environmental influences, including constant rain, ice and dirt. This was achieved with only 63(!) igus components, including lead screws, rails, plain bearings, and sockets in the robot and the vehicle unit.
A further argument for igus components was the low target price required for the entire system, which includes the charging robot and the vehicle unit. It could only be made to serve a mass market thanks to cost-effective igus® components.

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