Electrify America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, has begun a pilot project in San Francisco to use robotic arms to recharge electric and self-driving vehicles.
Electrify America is working with Stable Auto to test a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) and help to develop the infrastructure needed to deploy those fleets. The pilot project’s goal will seek to offer EVs a way to recharge without any human intervention using robots attached to a 150 kW DC fast charger. Electrify America has provided two 150 kW DC fast chargers to Stable Auto’s first autonomous charging facility, which is set to open in early 2020.
Stable Auto will manage the products using its robotic technology and scheduling software with a dedicated fleet of EVs to charge with no operators present. The self-driving vehicles are expected to park themselves anywhere inside a standard parking space and the robots will then automate the connection between the vehicle and the charge.
As part of the agreement, the companies will also research how the hardware, network, operations and billing of the charging system works best with autonomous vehicles.