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Title:
A FERRYING VEHICLE PROVIDING ONBOARD CHARGING, AN ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE AND A METHOD FOR CHARGING AN ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE ON BOARD THE FERRYING VEHICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/096001
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure discloses a ferrying vehicle, an electric automobile, and a method for charging the electric automobile. The ferrying vehicle comprises: an information obtaining unit, configured to obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle; an information sharing unit, configured to share the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and a charger, configured to charge the electric automobiles that has entered the charging compartment. Problems related to a wireless charging lane, such as a low instantaneous power, inability of a quick charge, and attenuations or interferences of electromagnetic waves are solved by employing a ferrying vehicle with chargers disposed thereon, and thus a quick charge may be enabled. Meanwhile, the charging process occurs inside the ferrying vehicle (e.g., in a trunk) in motion, which allow a safer and more convenient charging.

Inventors:
ZHAO, Sha (Building B6, 751 D. Park No.4 Jiuxianqiao Roa, Beijing 5, 100015, CN)
TANG, Shuai (Building B6, 751 D. Park No.4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Beijing 5, 100015, CN)
SUN, Duo (Building B6, 751 D. Park No.4 Jiuxianqiao Roa, Beijing 5, 100015, CN)
ZHANG, Aiyan (Building B6, 751 D. Park No.4 Jiuxianqiao Roa, Beijing 5, 100015, CN)
Application Number:
EP2017/080129
Publication Date:
May 31, 2018
Filing Date:
November 22, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AUDI AG (85045 Ingolstadt, 85045, DE)
International Classes:
B60L11/18
Foreign References:
DE102010010119A12011-09-08
US20110025267A12011-02-03
DE102016014034A12017-05-18
EP2927045A12015-10-07
EP2572922A12013-03-27
US3933258A1976-01-20
Other References:
None
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ferrying vehicle, having a trunk to accommodate an electric automobile, comprising:

an information obtaining unit, configured to obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle;

an information sharing unit, configured to share the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and

a charger, configured to charge the electric automobile that has entered the charging compartment.

2. The ferrying vehicle of claim 1, wherein the information obtaining unit is further configured to obtain a position of the electric automobile that requests to be charged, and the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle is determined based on the position of the electric automobile.

3. The ferrying vehicle of claim 1 or 2, wherein the information obtaining unit is further configured to obtain a navigation route of the electric automobile and the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle is determined based on the navigation route of the electric automobile.

4. The ferrying vehicle of any of claims 1-3, wherein the information sharing unit is further configured to share the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile that requests to be charged, such that the electric may be able to approach the ferrying vehicle based on the position and navigation route of the ferrying vehicle.

5. The ferrying vehicle of any of claims 1-4, wherein the information sharing unit is configured to share, directly or through a third party, the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile.

6. The ferrying vehicle of claim 5, wherein the third party includes an online service or a mobile terminal.

7. The ferrying vehicle of any of claims 1-6, wherein a compartment door of the ferrying vehicle is opened after the electric automobile approaches the ferrying vehicle to allow the electric vehicle to enter.

8. The ferrying vehicle of any of claims 1-7, wherein a compartment door of the ferrying vehicle is opened to allow the electric automobile to drive off after the charging is finished.

9. An electric automobile, comprising:

a navigation unit, configured to obtain position of the ferrying vehicle of any of claims 1-8 and guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and a charging unit, configured to charge the electric automobile through chargers within the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

10. The electric automobile of claim 9, wherein the navigation route of the electric automobile is determined by the position of the ferrying vehicle.

11. The electric automobile of claim 9 or 10, wherein the electric automobile further comprises:

a position sharing unit, configured to share the position of the electric automobile with the ferrying vehicle.

12. The electric automobile of claim 11, the position sharing unit is further configured to share the navigation route of the electric automobile with the ferrying vehicle.

13. The electric automobile of any of claims 9-12, the navigation unit is further configured to:

obtain the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle; and

determine the navigation route of the electric automobile based on the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle.

14. The electric automobile of any of claims 9-13, the electric automobile further comprises:

an active controlling unit, configured to automatically or semi-automatically guide the electric automobile to enter the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

15. The electric vehicle of claim 14, wherein the active controlling unit comprises:

a detection module to detect motion states of the ferrying vehicle and the electric automobile;

a decision module to determine an action of the electric automobile based on the output of the detection module; and

an operation module to control the operation of the electric automobile based on the action determined by the decision module.

16. A method for charging an electric automobile, comprising:

obtaining a position of a ferrying vehicle;

sharing the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile that requests to be charged to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and

charging the electric automobile that has arrived in the ferrying vehicle.

17. A method for charging an electric automobile, comprising: obtaining a position of a ferrying vehicle to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and

charging the electric automobile through a charger installed in the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising:

guiding, automatically or semi-automatically, the electric automobile to drive into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

Description:
A FERRYING VEHICLE PROVIDING ONBOARD CHARGING, AN ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE AND A METHOD FOR CHARGING AN ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE ON BOARD THE FERRYING VEHICLE

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to automobile field, and more particularly, to a technology for charging an electric automobile. Specifically, the present disclosure relates to a ferrying vehicle that can charge an electric automobile, and an electric automobile that can be charged from such a ferry vehicle. The present disclosure also relates to a method for charging such an electric automobile.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Electric automobiles have, in recent years, become more popular to customers due to low energy consuming and environmentally friendly properties. In particular, improvements in driving technology have enabled the performance of electric automobile to match their fuel counterparts in some aspect such as driving force. The capacity of batteries, however, has become a primary issue that restrains the development of electric automobiles. An electric automobile may suffer from such a condition where it fails to reach a destination as a result of insufficient power and has to pull off to be charged.

[0003] A conventional approach to charge electric automobiles is to directly couple the electric automobile to a charger and conduct charging in a wired manner. Such an approach may achieve full charge in a short time. However, the approach is generally applied in an emergency lane or a fixed charging station, and cannot charge the automobiles without requiring them to stop.

[0004] Another approach is to employ wireless charging lanes, wherein electric automobiles are charged by wireless charging apparatus installed on a particular lane that emits electromagnetic waves. Such an approach, however, relies greatly on infrastructures that are not so pervading for now. In addition, many roads may not be able to be covered due to high costs. Another drawback of the wireless charging lane is that its instantaneous power is lower with respect to what can be achieved through a directly cabled power supply, which means that it may take a much longer time for the automobile to be fully charged. Further, instantaneous power obtained from the wireless charging lane may not be sufficient to drive the vehicle when the remaining energy of the vehicle is rather low. Another unsolved problem related to the wireless charging lanes is that the electromagnetic waves may suffer attenuations or interferences during transmission, which may be particular significant when the vehicle is distant from the charging apparatus. The power received by the automobile is therefore further reduced.

[0005] Therefore, a system and method that allow a quick, safe and convenient charging for electric automobiles in motion is desired.

SUMMARY

[0006] In order to overcome one or more drawbacks of the prior art, a ferrying vehicle is provided according to a first aspect of the disclosure, comprising: an information obtaining unit, configured to obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle; an information sharing unit, configured to share the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and a charger, configured to charge the electric automobiles that has entered the charging compartment.

[0007] Optionally, the information obtaining unit is further configured to obtain a position of the electric automobile that requests to be charged, and the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle is determined based on the position of the electric automobile.

[0008] Optionally, the information obtaining unit is further configured to obtain a navigation route of the electric automobile, and the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle is determined based on the navigation route of the electric automobile.

[0009] Optionally, the information sharing unit is further configured to share the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile that requests to be charged, such that the electric may be able to approach the ferrying vehicle based on the position and navigation route of the ferrying vehicle. [0010] Optionally, the information sharing unit is configured to share, directly or through a third party, the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile.

[0011] Optionally, the third party includes an online service or a mobile terminal.

[0012] Optionally, a compartment door of the ferrying vehicle is opened after the electric automobile approaches the ferrying vehicle to allow the electric vehicle to enter.

[0013] Optionally, a compartment door of the ferrying vehicle is opened to allow the electric automobile to drive off the ferrying vehicle after the charging is finished.

[0014] An electric automobile is provided according to a second aspect of the disclosure, comprising: a navigation unit, configured to obtain position of the ferrying vehicle of the first aspect of the disclosure and guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and a charging unit, configured to charge the electric automobile through chargers within the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

[0015] Optionally, the navigation route of the electric automobile is determined by the position of the ferrying vehicle.

[0016] Optionally, the electric automobile further comprises a position sharing unit, configured to share the position of the electric automobile with the ferrying vehicle.

[0017] Optionally, the position sharing unit is further configured to share the navigation route of the electric automobile with the ferrying vehicle.

[0018] Optionally, the navigation unit is further configured to obtain the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle; and determine the navigation route of the electric automobile based on the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle.

[0019] Optionally, the electric automobile further comprises an active controlling unit, configured to automatically or semi-automatically guide the electric automobile into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

[0020] Optionally, the active controlling unit comprises a detection module to detect motion states of the ferrying vehicle and the electric automobile; a decision module to determine an action of the electric automobile based on the output of the detection module; and an operation module to control the operation of the electric automobile based on the action determined by the decision module. [0021] A method for charging an electric automobile is provided according to a third aspect of the disclosure, comprising: obtaining a position of a ferrying vehicle; sharing the position of the ferrying vehicle with the electric automobile that requests to be charged to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and charging the electric automobile that has arrived in the ferrying vehicle

[0022] A method for charging an electric automobile is provided according to a fourth aspect of the disclosure, comprising: obtaining a position of a ferrying vehicle to guide the electric automobile to approach the ferrying vehicle; and charging the electric automobile through a charger installed in the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

[0023] Optionally, the method further comprises: guiding, automatically or semi-automatically, the electric automobile to drive into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle.

[0024] Problems related to wireless charging lanes such as a low instantaneous power, inability of a quick charge, attenuations and interferences of electromagnetic waves are solved by the ferrying vehicle according to embodiments of the disclosure, and thus a quick charge may be enabled. Meanwhile, a charging process occurs inside the ferrying vehicle, which alleviates the need to stop at a parking spot, emergency lane or charging station, and a safer and more convenient charging is thus enabled.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] To illustrate the technical solutions in the embodiments of the present disclosure clearly, a brief introduction to the accompanying drawings which are needed in the description of the embodiments is given below. Apparently, the accompanying drawings described below are some embodiments of the present disclosure, based on which other drawings can be obtained by the persons of ordinary skills in the art without any inventive efforts.

[0026] Figs. 1A-1B illustrate scenarios wherein embodiments of the disclosure may find application;

[0027] Fig. 2 illustrates a schematic block diagram of a ferrying vehicle according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0028] Fig. 3 illustrates a schematic block diagram of an electric automobile according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0029] Figs. 4A-4C illustrate several manners that an electric automobile joins a ferrying vehicle;

[0030] Fig. 5 illustrates a method for charging an electric automobile according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0031] Fig. 6 illustrated a method for charging an electric automobile according to another embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0032] Detailed description of the present disclosure will be given blow with reference to the accompanying drawings and embodiments. Specific embodiments described herein are only used to explain the present disclosure, and in no way intended to limit the invention or its applications or uses. It should be noted that, for ease of description, the accompanying drawings merely show a related part of the present disclosure.

[0033] It is noted that embodiments of the disclosure and features therein may be combined when they are compatible with each other. With reference to drawings, the disclosure is illustrated in detail in conjunction with embodiments below.

[0034] Figs. 1A-1B illustrate scenarios wherein embodiments of the disclosure may find application. As illustrated in Fig. 1A, the scenario comprises a ferrying vehicle

101 and an electric automobile 102. The "ferrying vehicle" herein refers to a vehicle that is capable of accommodating, or hosting other vehicles. The electric automobile

102 may include an all-electric automobile or a hybrid one. A communication connection may be established between the electric automobile 102 and the ferrying vehicle 101, for example, in a Car-2-Car manner, as shown in Fig. 1A. Position information of either vehicle may be shared with another over the connection through a communication device installed within the vehicle, such as an antenna and transceiver. Alternatively, other information such as navigation route may also be shared in this manner after the communication is established. Upon the receipt of the position of the ferrying vehicle 101, the electric automobile 102 to be charged may navigate to join the ferrying vehicle 101 and drive into the ferrying vehicle to be charged by a charger installed within the ferrying vehicle 101. The manner in which the electric automobile 102 joins the ferrying vehicle will be described in detail below.

[0035] As shown in Fig. IB, as an alternative to Fig .1A, communication may be established between the electric automobile 102 and the ferrying vehicle 101 through a third party. The "third party" refers to some service or apparatus that is independent to the electric automobile 102 and the ferrying vehicle 101. In some implementation, the third party may be an online service that is implemented to provide an interaction platform for the electric automobile 102 and the ferrying vehicle 101. Communication between the ferrying vehicle 101 and the electric automobile 102 may be established through accesses to the online service. For example, the electric automobile 102 may access the online service to obtain position, navigation route, and other information of the ferrying vehicle 101. The ferrying vehicle 101 may also obtain information of the electric automobile 102 in the same way. The accesses may be implemented by accessing web pages.

[0036] In another implementation, the third party may be a user terminal, such as a smart phone, or a wearable device capable of communication. For example, communication may be established between a smart phone of a driver or passenger within the electric automobile 102 and another smart phone of a driver or passenger within the ferrying vehicle 101. Information such as positions and navigation routes may be shared through the phones in real time. Alternatively, an internal communication device within the electric automobile 102 or the ferrying vehicle 101 may be used to establish communication with a mobile device of a passenger or driver in another vehicle.

[0037] It is appreciated that the ferrying vehicle 101 and the electric automobile 102 in above scenarios are merely provided for explanation. Any number of ferrying vehicles and any number of electric automobiles are also encompassed within the scope of the disclosure. In addition, the scenarios of application are described against a background of a street; it is yet appreciated that embodiments of the disclosure may also find application in highway, national roads or any other traffic scenarios.

[0038] Problems related to a wireless charging lane, such as a low instantaneous power, inability of a quick charge, and attenuations or interferences of electromagnetic waves are solved by employing a ferrying vehicle with chargers disposed thereon, and thus a quick charge may be enabled. Meanwhile, the charging process occurs inside the ferrying vehicle (e.g., in a trunk), which alleviates the need for the automobile to stop at a parking spot or charging station. A safer and more convenient charging is thus enabled.

[0039] Referring now to Fig. 2, a schematic block diagram of a ferrying vehicle 101 is illustrated. The ferrying vehicle 101 comprises an information obtaining unit 21, an information sharing unit 22, and a charger 23. The information obtaining unit 21 is configured to obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle 101. The information sharing unit 22 is configured to share the position of the ferrying vehicle 101 with the electric automobile 102 to guide the electric automobile 102 to approach the ferrying vehicle 101. The charger 23 is configured to charge one or more electric automobiles 102 that have driven, based on the position shared by the ferrying vehicle 101, into the ferrying vehicle 101.

[0040] The information obtaining unit 21 may obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle 101 through an internal positioning device, such as an antenna assembly, a GPS, or other existing location devices. Alternatively, in another embodiment, the information obtaining unit 21 may also obtain the position, navigation route or other information of the electric automobile through an established communication connection with the electric automobile 102.

[0041] The information sharing unit 22 may be implemented as any device that implements wireless communication. For example, the wireless communication may be implemented through an online service or a mobile terminal. The information sharing unit 22 may also share information such as position or navigation route with the electric automobile 102. [0042] The charger 23 is a battery pack or assembly installed within the ferrying vehicle 101, which connects in a wired manner to the electric automobile 102 that has arrived in the ferrying vehicle 101, thereby charging the electric automobile 102. Number, structure of chargers, and the manner by which an electric automobile is charged are not limited in the disclosure.

[0043] Referring now to Fig. 3, wherein a schematic block diagram of an electric automobile 102 according to an embodiment of the disclosure is illustrated. The electric automobile 102 comprises a navigation unit 31 and a charging unit 32. The navigation unit 31 is configured to obtain a position of the ferrying vehicle 101, which may be used to guide the electric automobile 102 to approach the ferrying vehicle 101 and thus enter the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle 101. The charging unit 32 is configured to receive power from a charger installed within the ferry vehicle 101.

[0044] The navigation unit 31 may be a communication device within the vehicle, which obtains various information such as position, or navigation route of the ferrying vehicle 101 in the manner as described in above scenarios, the detail of which is not redundantly repeated herein.

[0045] The charging unit 32 may be a device that can charge the automobile from a charger inside a ferrying vehicle. It may comprise docking assemblies to dock with the charger.

[0046] In another embodiment of the disclosure, the electric automobile may further comprise a position sharing unit 33 configured to share a position or navigation route of the electric automobile 102 with the ferrying vehicle 101.

[0047] Several manners by which the electric 102 may join the ferrying vehicle 101 are described in detail with reference to Figs. 4A-4C.

[0048] In some implementation, as shown in Fig. 4A, an electric automobile 102 driving on a road with insufficient power is in need of charging. In the manner described with respect to above scenarios, a charging request is sent to a ferrying vehicle 101. In response to receipt of the request, the ferrying vehicle 101 enters a standby state. The electric automobile 102 then obtains a position of the ferrying vehicle 101 and navigates to the site of the awaiting ferrying vehicle 101. The electric automobile 102 will drive into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle 101 to get charged after it has reached the site. In this embodiment, the ferrying vehicle

101 awaits in its site after receiving a request from the electric automobile 102 to ensure that the electric automobile 102 will join the ferrying vehicle 101 if it drives to the site without any missing each other. In one embodiment, the ferrying vehicle 101 may be in motion when it receives the charge request from the electric automobile 102. The ferrying vehicle 101 may share its navigation and position with the electric automobile 102 that requests to be charged such that the electric automobile 102 may schedule, based on the position and route of the ferrying vehicle 101, a navigation route to advantageously approach the ferrying vehicle 101.

[0049] Referring now to Fig. 4B, in which another implementation is illustrated. This implementation differs from the embodiment described above with reference to Fig. 4A in that, the ferrying vehicle 101 obtains the position of the electric automobile

102 when it receives a charging request, and shares its own position with the electric automobile 102 through an information sharing unit 22. The ferrying vehicle 101 and the electric automobile 102 may then join each other at some intersection between the ferrying vehicle 101 and the electric automobile 102. In this embodiment, the time required to reach the ferrying vehicle 101 is substantially reduce, which is particular advantageous for electric automobiles with insufficient power. In one embodiment, the ferrying vehicle 101 may also obtain a navigation route of the electric automobile 102 when receiving a charge request therefrom, and share its own navigation route with the electric automobile 102 to advantageously assist them to join each other.

[0050] Referring to Fig. 4C, in which yet another implementation is illustrated. In this implementation, the ferrying vehicle 101 may obtain the position of the electric automobile 102 and drive to the position of the electric automobile 102 to join the ferrying vehicle 101 when the power of the electric automobile 102 is not sufficient for it to drive to the ferrying vehicle 101. In this way, an electric automobile with rather low power may also be charged.

[0051] A condition in which one single electric automobile sends a charge request is described. When multiple electric automobiles send their respective requests, the ferrying vehicle may schedule a route to join these automobiles based on received positions. For example, the ferrying vehicle may schedule its navigation route based on the positions of the multiple automobiles. The electric automobiles may send their respective requests simultaneously or one after another. The disclosure is not limited in this regard. In addition, the ferrying vehicle may have room to accommodate one or more electric automobiles.

[0052] In some embodiment, the ferrying vehicle may still have room for other electric automobiles when it has joined with some electric automobile. Once receiving charging requests from these other automobiles, the ferrying vehicle may join them by following a scheduled route that is determined by their positions.

[0053] In yet another embodiment, the ferrying vehicle may also obtain navigation routes of one or more electric automobiles being charged therein if there is no other charge request from or no room for other automobiles. For example, in a situation that an electric automobile being charged on the ferrying vehicle desires to reach some destination, the ferrying vehicle may schedule and follow a navigation route directed to this destination during the process of the electric automobile's charging. In this way, once the charging process is finished, the electric automobile may not need to travel redundant or undesired distances, caused by a disparate route of the ferrying vehicle which may even aim for a contrary direction, to reach its destination. It is appreciated that a situation where a single electric automobile is being charged within the ferrying vehicle is described above. When multiple electric automobiles are simultaneously being charged in the ferrying vehicle, a navigation route of the ferrying vehicle may optionally be determined by the routes of the multiple electric automobiles. As an example, the navigation route of the ferrying vehicle may be determined based on some common route shared by the multiple electric automobiles being charged or some section or place that is relatively close to their destinations.

[0054] It is appreciated that the ferrying vehicle and the electric automobile may share information or join with each other in an automated way, for example, implemented by an active controlling unit. In particular, the electric automobile may obtain the position of the ferrying vehicle. The ferrying vehicle may then, in an automatic steering mode, open the door of its charging compartment to allow the electric automobile to enter. The electric automobile, assisted by the active controlling unit, may drive into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle and conduct a charging therein. In an embodiment, the active controlling unit may comprise a detection module, a decision module and an operation module. The detection module may comprise sensors (such as a camera, a radar sensor, or a laser sensor) to detect motion states of the ferrying vehicle and the electric automobile, road environment (e.g., lane markers, road types, and traffic signs), and other vehicles or object in the vicinity. The decision module may determine an action of the ego vehicle based on the output of the detection module in order to fulfill the purpose of driving into the ferrying vehicle. For example, the position of the ego vehicle may laterally be kept within the width of the ferrying vehicle, and the longitudinal speed of the ego vehicle may be kept within a range above the speed of the ferrying vehicle. The operation module may automatically pilot the electric automobile into the ferrying vehicle by adjusting acceleration, deceleration, and steering of the electric automobile. Optionally, the electric automobile may drive into the ferrying vehicle based on a semi-automatic process. In other words, at least one of the acceleration, deceleration, and steering operation may be controlled by the driver of the electric automobile through an engine throttle, brake, or steering wheel. The ferrying vehicle may open the charging compartment door to allow the electric automobile to automatically or semi-automatically drive off the charging compartment and get back to the ground.

[0055] Referring to Fig. 5, a method for charging an electric automobile according to an embodiment of the disclosure is illustrated. The method shown in Fig. 5 may be implemented in the ferrying vehicle 101 in Fig. 2.

[0056] As shown in Fig. 5, in step 51, a position of the ferrying vehicle 101 is obtained.

[0057] The ferrying vehicle 101 may obtain its position through a positioning device, such as a GPS or other existing vehicle positioning system installed therein.

[0058] In step 52, the position of the ferrying vehicle 101 is shared with the electric automobile 102, to guide the electric automobile 102 to approach the ferrying vehicle 101.

[0059] The position of the ferrying vehicle 101 may be shared with the electric automobile 102 directly or through a third party as described with respect to above scenarios, the detail of which is omitted here.

[0060] Subsequently, in step 53, at least one electric automobile 102 that has entered the charging compartment is charged.

[0061] The ferrying vehicle 101 and the electric automobile 102 may join each other in any manner described with respect to Figs 4A-4C once the position of one is received by another. The ferrying vehicle 101 with chargers installed therein may then provide, inside its accommodating space (e.g., a trunk), power to the electric automobiles 102.

[0062] Referring now to Fig. 6, a method for charging an electric automobile according to an embodiment of the disclosure is illustrated. The method shown in Fig. 6 may be implemented in the electric automobile 102 in Fig. 3.

[0063] As shown in Fig. 6, in step 61, a position of the ferrying vehicle 101 is obtained to guide the electric automobile 102 to approach the ferrying vehicle 101, such that the electric automobile 102 may enter the charging compartment. The position may be obtained in a manner analogous to that described with reference to Fig. 3

[0064] Subsequently, in step 62, the electric automobile 102 is charged from chargers installed within the charging compartment. The electric automobile 102 may join and drive into the ferrying vehicle 101 as described with reference to Fig. 4A-4C, the detail of which is hereby omitted.

[0065] The manner in which the electric automobile 102 joins the ferrying vehicle 101 and drives therein has been described with reference to Fig. 4A-4C, and thus will not be repeated herein.

[0066] In another embodiment, the charging method may further comprise a step 63, wherein the electric automobile 102 is guided to drive into the charging compartment of the ferrying vehicle 101. Optionally, step 63 may be performed after step 61. [0067] An active controlling unit may be used guide the electric automobile 102 into the ferrying vehicle 101, the implementation of which has been described above, and thus is not redundantly repeated herein.

[0068] The above examples just help to facilitate the understanding of the present disclosure, but not limit the scope of the present disclosure.

[0069] Those skilled in the art may understand that the units in the device disclosed herein may be distributed in the device of the embodiments, and may also be varied to be located in one or more devices different from those of the embodiments. The units of the above embodiments may be integrated into one unit or may be further divided into multiple sub-units.

[0070] While the present disclosure has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood by those skilled in the art that this limitation is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included without departing from the scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.