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Autonomous EV charging tech scores patent for Europe

Shanghai firm scores European patent for developing autonomous EV charging

20 Apr 2020

CHINESE EV car manufacturer Aiways has secured a patent in its homeland and Europe to develop an autonomous charging EV apparatus, which can provide hands-free charging solutions for users.


The Shanghai-based car-maker has been granted seven patents to develop its autonomous charging robot, with the patents including the robot design and charging method.


Dubbed ‘CARL’, the robot is a cube-like pod that rolls around on a set of wheels, with a mechanical arm sitting on top that plugs and unplugs the charging cables for vehicles.


The CARL robot has been developed with 30kWh and 60kWh charging capabilities, and according to Aiways, is able to provide an EV fast charge for any conventional charging standard.


EV batteries will be able to be charged to 80 per cent capacity in less than 50 minutes, and can be used by both private and commercial customers.


The CARL system works through a smartphone app, with customers summoning the robot to their vehicle once it has been parked, be it in a home, workplace or public car park.


The robot then uses GPS data to locate the vehicle within the area which it operates, and is able to locate the charging port on the car, plug it in and begin charging automatically, all without the car owner needing to be present.


Once the charging process is complete, CARL moves on to the next user or returns to its base station – whichever is required.


The process can be done without the driver having to touch the charging infrastructure – a particularly topical feature given the ongoing CIVD-19 pandemic.


Aiways vice president for overseas operations Alex Klose said the CARL system makes EV ownership an easier experience for buyers.


“Instead of drivers trying to find a charger, the charger will find them,” he said.


“We want to make EV ownership as simple, easy and enjoyable as possible, and CARL provides a blueprint for how EVs can be charged in the future.”


Aiways is a young Shanghai-based company founded in 2017, and has so far developed two vehicles.


The first, the U5, is a compact SUV that has been sold in China since December, and is due to be released in Europe mid-year.


A concept vehicle called the U6 Ion Concept was due for reveal at the Geneva motor show, however the press conference instead took place on March 3 after the event was cancelled.

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