The HARTING Technology group has formed a successful partnership with Swiss automotive company Rinspeed to develop a number of e-mobility solutions including an expanded e-mobility infrastructure for the automated fast charging of electric vehicles.
At the Geneva International Motor Show in March, Rinspeed presented the microSNAP, the latest vehicle study by Swiss car visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht, alongside HARTING’s solutions for automated charging.
“The breakthrough for e-mobility crucially depends on the duration of the charging process and user-friendly charging infrastructure”, says Frank M. Rinderknecht: “Long charge times and unwieldy, heavy-duty connectors deter car owners from switching to electric vehicles, making rapid charging via compact DC connectors an essential prerequisite to speed their widespread adoption.”
With fast charging via a DC charging plug such as HARTING’s DC Combo 2, future vehicles will be supplied with sufficient power in just a few minutes rather than in hours. In addition, automatic charging solutions will increase in popularity, since handling today’s larger charging infrastructure systems limits their usage in space-constrained environments such as car parks or garages.
Fast DC charging will also become indispensable in the future in order to meet delivery times and the demand for fleet availability, especially for electric vehicles operated by regional transport and logistics companies.
As online commerce is booming and now also includes the fresh food delivery sector, a new generation of small, autonomous vehicles that deliver their goods to the customer on a “just in time” basis will become commonplace. These vehicles will need recharging within a very short time, allowing charging to take place at the same time as the vehicle is loaded with parcels and other material.
HARTING has demonstrated which elements this type of automatic charging solution requires, with robot-assisted guidance to position the DC Combo 2 connector optimally into the vehicle’s charging socket. After the charging process, the robot extracts the connector together with the cable and the vehicle is ready for use again after a short time. The provision of the high-power DC supply is optimally adapted to the charging system. The fleet operator benefits from the short charging time – as does the end customer, who receives the delivery promptly.
Rinspeed and HARTING have been collaborating successfully since 2016, including integrating the MICA® industrial edge computer, for which HARTING won the prestigious Hermes Award at the Hannover Fair in April 2016, into the Etos vehicle for autonomous emission and condition monitoring. In 2017, HARTING used the miniMICA, another component from the evolutionary MICA ecosystem, to support the Rinspeed “Oasis” car, and in 2018 HARTING provided rapid charging technology for the “SNAP”.
As a pioneer for reliable, clean and environmentally friendly e-mobility, the company’s HARTING Automotive subsidiary offers tailor-made solutions and components for all relevant markets and develops and produces charging equipment for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In addition to the number of electrical charging points and a nationwide charging infrastructure, the acceptance and success of electric vehicles will crucially depend on easy-to-handle, cost-saving and time-saving charging technology.
HARTING can point to decades of experience in connection and transmission technology for data, signals and power, and recognised early on the increasing environmental awareness within society with respect to vehicle traffic and the resulting demands and opportunities. “Air pollution control requirements will only be met with e-mobility, especially in cities. Consequently, we’ve focused on this in our R&D and production and are also involved in all aspects of standardisation”, emphasises Marco Grinblats, Managing Director of the HARTING Automotive subsidiary.
HARTING manufactures power cables for e-mobility and actuators for automotive applications at its Romanian sites in Sibiu and Agnita. Due to the strong increase in demand, the production capacity at both plants was increased significantly last year.
The technology group has been a direct supplier to VW for a specific e-mobility solution since the end of 2016 and various charging equipment is produced for several models of the VW Group, including the Porsche Panamera 4-Hybrid. HARTING Automotive is also a Tier 1 supplier to the BMW Group.