A small robot that drives under the car and starts charging. When Ram presented its electric pickup, the inductive charging was an important point – which is launched with the car.
With electric cars, charging is an important point. You must not forget to switch on the car when you park to make sure you have cream when needed. When it comes to privately owned cars, this might not be a big problem, but in corporate fleets or when sharing vehicles, this is a monkey.
Stellantis-owned Ram has zoomed in on this. When the manufacturer launched its electric pickup, it also presented an innovative solution to the problem – which provides the smoothest charging imaginable.
Schedules the charge – automatically
Ram uses a robot that can roll out and “refuel” the battery by means of inductive charging. The solution, developed by French EFI Automotive, looks like a robotic lawnmower or larger vacuum cleaner. It is described as an intelligent companion that can post a scheduled charge as soon as the robot detects that the owner’s car/cars are nearby.
Exact behavior can be controlled so that the robot can act at once when the charge level is below a set limit – or if you want it to only charge when the electricity price is low. The charging itself can take place at up to 7 kW
Uses ai technology
Although it is about wireless charging, the robot itself is not wireless. Like a swan, there is a cable behind the robot that connects it to a base station.
According to EFI, the system has been developed over the past five years, and thanks to AI technology, the robot should be able to navigate around any obstacles and position itself optimally under the car.
A robot must also be able to charge several cars, the limiting factor is that the cord currently only measures ten meters.
This reduces energy loss
What about the efficiency? One argument against wireless charging has been that there will be large energy losses. According to EFI, this is not true, and thanks to the robot positioning itself in the best place and lifting up a “charging plate”, 97 percent efficiency can be achieved.
In addition, the system must also be able to contribute to improving battery life by 15 percent. However, exactly how this was arrived at is not reported by the manufacturer.
Volvo invests in wireless charging
Wireless charging has long been talked about as a technology that can read big problems in multiple scenarios. Mobile chargers, which are based on inductive transmission of electricity, would, for example, reduce the need for charging posts at every parking space in a garage.
Currently, there are no manufacturers that offer electric cars with wireless charging in Sweden. However, there are several companies that are testing and, among others, Volvo has a pilot project with the technology. In addition, there are third-party manufacturers who also offer alternatives.