Lotus unveils EV charging robot along with its first electric SUV Eletre

China is at the forefront of a worldwide shift toward electrification. It is by far the world's largest EV producer and consumer, with the US and Europe trailing far behind.

Sports car maker Lotus released its all-electric hyper SUV Eletre at the ongoing Shanghai Auto Show 2023.

A highlight other than the car itself is an EV charging robot specially designed for Eletre.

According to Lotus, the charging robot has an output of 500 kW, making it one of the most high-powered fast-charging systems in the EV sector.

Footage and images shared online showed that the charging system comprises a robotic arm that can plug the charger into the port of an EV.

Equipped with position sensors and other visual recognition technologies, the robotic charger can locate the EV’s port without needing human intervention.

Additionally, it also can glide along rails on the floors, so as to pilot itself to the designated spots to provide charging services — depending on where an EV’s charging port is.

Lotus announced at the auto show that it will roll out 50 such devices first in China and they are fit for use on EVs of all types and brands.

Nonetheless, the car maker did not reveal whether this EV charging robot will be deployed to other parts of the world.

China is at the forefront of a worldwide shift toward electrification. It is by far the world’s largest EV producer and consumer, with the US and Europe trailing far behind.

In 2022 alone, a total of 5.36 million all-electric cars were sold in China, up 81.6% YoY, while the sales of plug-in hybrid models hit 1.51 million units, an increase of one and a half times.

By contrast, sales of full-electric cars in the US totaled about 807,200 units, according to market intelligence provider Motor Intelligence.

In European markets, which consists of EU countries, the UK and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members, EV sales rose more than 29% from a year earlier to 1.57 units in 2022, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

As the auto industry goes electric, foreign car makers have been in a race to introduce electric or hybrid models into the Chinese market, Lotus included.

As its first electric SUV to enter China, Eletre generates up to 655 kW, or 990 hp, thanks to its twin electric motors. They provide high torque power through all four wheels.

Eletre accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 2.95 seconds. Its maximum charging power is 420 kW, said to be among the highest of all EV models in the market.

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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, Trip.com 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 nitao0927@gmail.com.

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