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Germany, Rietheim-Weilheim, June 2022 – Making the entire charging process smarter is a market trend for electric vehicles that - in addition to the battery's range - will be a decisive factor for consumers' purchasing decisions. Mechatronics specialist Marquardt is currently developing a system that offers the e-mobility industry maximum flexibility and end customers greater convenience and reliability: the Interactive Charging Socket (ICS). It is designed as an intelligent technology with a wide range of features that can also be integrated as individual components. Manufacturers of cars, trucks and off-road vehicles benefit from the solution, as do manufacturers of charging stations.
The ICS can be combined with the various global inlet standards (CCS, ChaoJi, CHAdeMO, GB/T) and offers the possibility for automation of both the charging port cover and inlet flaps to protect the contact pins. In addition to various illumination scenes, diverse HMI controls are available for selection, for example multifunction buttons such as an integrated charge termination switch. The modular design of the ICS gives OEMs the greatest possible flexibility for designing and cost-effectively differentiating their vehicles. This means that the system can be used across different car lines and equipped with different features according to the equipment variant, from economy to premium vehicles.
The system architecture with its holistic approach is based on an intelligent electronics platform and forms the core element for every single system interface to enable smart charging. The interface to the vehicle's central control unit is based on either CAN or LIN-bus communication. Furthermore, this design eliminates previously used complex wiring concepts for adapting individual system functions. This makes the ICS more robust and cost-effective.
Brand building at the charging station
One of the highlights of the system are the light animations that Marquardt creates at the charging socket, giving this area of the vehicle a character all of its own. The software-based control of individual intelligent RGB LEDs (red, green, blue) allows numerous effects in many color combinations. Valuable information is therefore intuitively conveyed to the user in form of color. For example, red illumination scenes signal a possible malfunction, while another scene in the traffic light colors indicate the current charging status. This makes bi-directional charging, the complete state of charge and other functions visible. A search function for user orientation in dark surroundings can also be displayed. The position and design of the light animations and buttons on the ICS panel can be adapted to customer requirements. Whether round or oval light fields, whether the buttons are located on the side or on top: The many customizable functions make the charging socket a brand experience.
Robotic charging as door opener
A special feature of the ICS is also the motorized inlet port flap and the automated charging port cover. Here Marquardt’s S3 sensor (Superior Sensing Solution) is used, an innovative sensor --- known from car door handles and famous for its reliability in all weather conditions like rain and ice since it increases the safety and comfort of the charge port cover. The automation of the cover and inlet port flap is both for the convenience of the user during manual loading and provides the basis for robotic controlled charging. The buttons on the HMI controls are also equipped with Marquardt S3 technology. The functional buttons are closed surfaces and equipped with backlit icons that have dust and moisture protection (IP 69). Integrated into the overall system is the E-Lock locking module, a bestseller in the steadily growing Marquardt e-mobility portfolio. The ICS system is currently in the product development phase; the start of series production is planned for the end of 2024.Download Pressemitteilung (7 MB, ZIP)