With a global pandemic forcing people to be more self conscious about the objects they touch, what better time to launch a robotic charging system for electric cars?
Chinese startup Aiways has an idea that is both convenient, and could help reduce anxiety in the current situation.
Called CARL, it's a small robot that can be summoned via an app. Once the driver of an electric car has requested a charging session, the robot rolls over to the car and plugs in.
Aiways is one of many new EV brands coming from China, which is both the world's largest new-car market, and the largest market for electric cars.
The brand currently sells its U5 crossover (pictured in the attached video) in China, and had planned on European sales before the global coronavirus outbreak. United States sales have not been discussed.
Aiways CARL robotic charging
Electrify America has expressed an interest in robotic charging tech, for use with self-driving cars.
This latest iteration of touchless charging is very different from the "snake" charger Tesla teased in 2015. That setup still required drivers to pull up alongside a charging station, which then used the "snake" appendage to plug itself into the car's charge port.
The wriggling movement of the automated charge cord was a bit unsettling. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the time that it seemed "kinda wrong." Perhaps that's why Tesla never put it into production.
Or maybe EV drivers just aren't interested. In a poll last year, you told us that robotic chargers wouldn't be all that helpful, Many of you said wireless charging would be preferable.
However, Aiways' system is different as you don't need to find the charger; it finds you. Would this change your opinion?