In view of the growing number of electric vehicles in China and the consequent surging need for a more flexible and advanced charging infrastructure, Chinese manufacturers have been putting mobile robots on the ground to serve an army of underserved EV owners.
Guangxi Auto, an automaker based in southwestern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, joined this group as its new-generation mobile charging robot rolled off the production line on August 9.
A fleet of this devices will be shipped to Taiwan, the company said.
This charging robot is a product of collaboration between Liuzhou Wuling Automobile Industry Co., Ltd (known for short as Wuling Motors), an established producer of minivans and compact vehicles, and a mobility technology startup Moving (柳州摩菱科技有限公司).
It reportedly possesses L4 autonomous driving capabilities that can fast-charge EVs under Chinese and EU standards.
When fully charged, the robot is able to replenish the power batteries of three to four EVs.
The user only needs to scan a QR code to place an order for charging servince on a mobile phone.
Within seconds the mobile robot will pilot itself to the designated location and start charging a vehicle.
After the charging session is over, the robot makes its way back to the base to be recharged or goes on to fulfill the next customer order, depending on the user’s demand.
According to Guangxi Auto, its Wuling brand overcame a number of technical problems such as narrow-body high-load chassis-by-wire, lightweight body and short axle during the R&D process.
Guangxi Auto claimed that previously it had deployed 10 mobile charging robots to parking lots and highway service areas nationwide on a trial run.
The new-generation mobile robot it launched this time is a successor to the earlier model and will likely boost the market share of its products.
As the penetration of EVs steadily picks up in China, access to a large and stable charging network has become a pain point.
Lured by the market prospects, a number of companies have started working on autonomous charging vehicles or gadgets, instead of stationary charging piles.