Although electric vehicles are becoming more prominent, charging infrastructure still lags behind. To beef up accessibility, Volkswagen of America teamed with a number of other firms to establish Electrify America. In its latest effort, Electrify America announced a new agreement with San Francisco-based Stable Auto to introduce fully-automated robotic charging systems for active self-driving demonstration and test fleets.
San Francisco is home to some of the country’s leading pilot programs for electric and autonomous vehicles. To support those programs, the new robotic arms will offer 150kW DC fast chargers that are automatically actuated. As a part of the experiment, the two companies will study the fast chargers' operations to improve charging solutions in the future.
“We believe that reliable, high-power electric vehicle charging infrastructure is essential for the accelerated adoption of EVs in the U.S., and recognize that foundational solutions like DC fast charging can be adapted for different charging needs,” said Wayne Killen, director of infrastructure planning and business development at Electrify America, in the company’s official statement. “Autonomous vehicles will play an important role in the future of driving, particularly with fleets, and tailored charging options for self-driving EVs will be critical to develop that effort. We’re excited to partner with Stable to be at the forefront of learning more and developing those charging solutions.”
The new robotic arms will be produced by Black & Veatch, an engineering company dedicated to producing clean tech for transportation. The robotic arms will launch as part of Electrify America’s Cycle 2 initiative.
We just hope they won’t be as creepy as Tesla’s experimental automated charging robot snake, which looked like something out of a bad dream or a "Terminator" movie.