Energy operator NaaS to deploy robot chargers by year-end, to ease EV mileage anxiety

These robots will likely function in association with the idle rate of electric piles, so as to flexibly allocate energy and meet EV owners' demand in the best possible way, NaaS said.

NaaS (能链, NASDAQ: NAAS), a provider of new energy services, plans to deploy its mobile charging robots to highway service areas in central China’s Hubei and southern China’s Hainan, as part of the firm’s strategy to extend its mobile EV-charging network nationwide.

At an industrial park in Anji, a prefecture-level city of Zhejiang Province, NaaS recently conducted a trial operation to demonstrate the function of its self-developed charging robots.

This device, about the size of an autonomous indoor scrubber, can be applied in parking lot, highway service area, industrial park, harbor, among other scenarios, according to NaaS.

Users can place an order via a mobile mini-program, whereupon the wheeled robot will pilot itself to a designated spot, park properly next to a car, and plug in the charger.

When the charging is over, the robot calculates the sums to be collected from the user.

An alternative

It provides an alternative to EV owners who rely on fixed charging piles for energy replenishment, only to face difficulty getting access to an idle one, especially amid surging demand during public holidays.

The proliferation of electric piles has yet to keep pace with China’s EV boom.

As of September 2023, new energy vehicle (NEV) ownership in China reached 18.21 million units, representing an increase of a staggering 1,400 times over a decade earlier. NEV sales this year is expected to hit 9 million units this year.

Against this backdrop, China’s energy suppliers and tech companies have been coming up with innovative ways to complement the prevalent charging method, which is to connect the EV with an immobile electric post.

Expanding robot fleet

NaaS utilizes deep learning, V2X, 3D vision and other technologies in the process of building its own automous robotic EV charger.

Combining the latest image recognition, autonomous driving, navigation and control algorithms, the robot figures out how to plan its route, avoid obstacles, and operate its mechanical arm with agility — all on its own, NaaS said in a statement.

The company looks to expand its robot fleet in coming years to complement the network of stationary charging piles.

These robots will likely function in association with the idle rate of electric piles, so as to flexibly allocate energy and meet EV owners’ demand in the best possible way, NaaS said.

Researcher affiliated with NaaS predict that by 2025, NEVs will account for 15% of the cars on the nation’s roads. A rough estimate is that on weekdays, 100,000 fixed piles and mobile chargers are needed to serve some 26 million cars.

This number will nearly double to 190,000 during national holidays, when 50 million cars are on the move.

This means that the number of charging piles across the country’s highway service areas has room for a 10x expansion, the researchers said.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

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