Robotic Charging for Self-driving EV Fleets

Robotic Charging for Self-driving EV Fleets
Electrify America and Stable Auto work together to deliver robotic charging infrastructure for autonomous and electric vehicles. (Photo: Electrify America)

The collaboration between Electrify America and Stable will deploy the first commercial robotic charging services for self-driving and electric vehicle fleets.

Electrify America partnered with the electric vehicle (EV) fleet charging company, Stable Auto, to develop robotic charging infrastructure solutions for autonomous and EV fleets.

Both companies hope to address the absence of a charging facility designed specifically for electric and autonomous vehicles for the pilot demonstration held in San Francisco, CA. The charging facility will focus on the absence of human intervention, using a robotic solution attached to a 150kW DC fast charger. This location will be Stable’s first commercial autonomous charging site and is set to open in early 2020.

Electrify America will evaluate the hardware, network, operations, and billing of its charging systems to best suit autonomous charging fleets, proving two fast chargers to Stable’s charging facility for the demonstration.

“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,” says Wayne Killen, Director, Infrastructure Planning and Business Development, Electrify America, LLC. “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.”

Stable will head the main project and pair its robotic technology and advanced scheduling software with Electrify America’s chargers. This technology will allow vehicles to park themselves inside the facility where Stable’s robot will automate the connection between the vehicle and the charger.

Robotic Charging for Self-driving EV Fleets

“We are proud to partner with Electrify America in this first step towards drastically accelerating the reach of electrification and autonomy. Our models have shown dramatic improvements to fleet utilization and operating cost-per-mile when fleet vehicles are paired with automated infrastructure in strategically chosen locations. For the benefit of our cities and ultimately of our planet, we are excited to introduce this new charging paradigm alongside Electrify America,” said Rohan Puri, Co-founder and CEO of Stable.

Black and Veatch will be the chosen engineering company for the project for its experience in delivering global infrastructure solutions for cleantech transportation markets.

This pilot demonstration is the first of many to assist in understanding the optimal charging site design, hardware, and back-end solutions required to conduct autonomous charging, and to evaluate appropriate business models for different autonomous fleet holders across various locations at commercial scale.

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