Corporates and startups are developing advanced robots and wireless solutions to lay the groundwork for more accessible electric vehicle charging.
With a favorable regulatory backdrop in place and tech advancements making electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable, powerful, and efficient, investors are betting on an electric future.
Funding to startups in the EV ecosystem — which includes vehicle OEMs, charging startups, battery designers, and more — has topped $11.1B so far in 2020.
Charging startups in particular have seen substantial interest from investors, as building out proper charging infrastructure has been key to driving adoption: one big reason consumers hesitate to purchase an EV is range anxiety, or the fear that a vehicle lacks sufficient range to reach its destination.
In addition to striving for faster charging speeds and expanding charging availability, companies are also looking to automate the charging process, which would streamline operations for fleet owners, bring more convenience to personal EV ownership, and even eventually allow autonomous vehicles to charge on their own. Despite some mounting skepticism over the feasibility of driverless vehicles, companies are nonetheless preparing for the possibility of fully autonomous driving.
In response, startups and corporates are experimenting with automated charging solutions, from robotic arms to ground-based mobile robots to wireless charging tech.
Below, we outline some of the companies pioneering these advancements.
What is automated electric vehicle charging?
Automated electric vehicle charging solutions leverage robotics, computer vision, and wireless charging technology to charge EVs without human intervention.
Why does it matter?
As electric vehicle OEMs and charging startups plan for a future of autonomous, electric fleets, many are focused on laying the groundwork for large fleets of EVs to be able to charge on their own.
Even before autonomous vehicles are fully commercialized, autonomous charging solutions would introduce a new layer of convenience for EV owners, as well as drivers of commercial vehicles.