When you think of charging your electric vehicle, you don’t typically imagine robots involved. But in its quest to make the charging experience for its its new Ram Revolution electric pickup as seamless as possible, Ram Trucks has introduced a robot that can autonomously charge your EV.
Ram reveals a robot charger for its electric truck
Ram finally took the sheets off its electric Ram Revolution truck at CES this year after teasing the concept several times.
The EV pickup comes with some pretty cool features like shadow mode, where the vehicle automatically follows its owner around, and a flexible high-tech cabin that can transform the interior from a relaxing setting to party mode with the press of a button.
Ram revealed another innovative product alongside the interior – an inductive autonomous charging robot, aka “Ram Charger,” that finds your EV for you, enabling hands-free recharging.
During the reveal at CES, Ram CEO Mike Koval said the company knew from its Real Talk tour that its customers are “concerned with how long a charge will last on the road, but also how easy it is to charge.”
Koval continued to say its Ram charging robot will make home charging as easy as possible by intelligently detecting the vehicle’s charging needs and automatically moving into place and aligning itself underneath to begin the recharge.
Perhaps more importantly, Koval said the Ram robot charger would feature smart charge capability, allowing it to send energy during off-peak hours.
The Robo-EV charger, developed by EFI Automotive over the past five years, has a range of 5 to 10 meters, with the ability to charge several EVs.
EFI says the innovative system improves efficiency by 97% with contact under the vehicle compared to those with air gaps. The robot features first-level communication with the car and includes intelligence to avoid obstacles.
Charging power is planned at 7 kW but can be extended. Depending on usage, you can use either a wallbox (home) or terminal (businesses/fleets).
Production of the robotic charger is slated for 2025, a year after the Ram Revolution electric truck is set to arrive.
Top comment by f1geek
Plugging in seems second nature for most people. A few things we all plug in: computers, phones, razors, hair dryers, blenders, tablets….the list goes on.
Inductive charging certainly has its uses, like for taxis or public transit, but plugging in a car is pretty easy and quick.
My initial reaction to a robotic EV charger was, “how hard is it to plug in a cord,” but after digging a little deeper, it may have a use case.
For example, fleets or businesses can use the robot technology with intelligent charging to cut utility costs and ensure their vehicles are fully charged and ready to go.
I don’t see this as a big-ticket item for the average person since plugging into a home charger takes all of three seconds. Perhaps it’s a luxury extra.
The robot charger may find its role in a future filled with autonomous EV fleets, and that’s where we are headed. Fleets like the USPS, FedEx, Amazon, UPS, you name it, could potentially benefit from autonomous robots charging their vehicles. Until then, the cord remains the most viable option.
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