Chinese electric vehicle battery technology firm, NaaS Technology, has unveiled its new self-driving battery-charging robot.
The diminutive orange and white machine sports several unique design features, including active vehicle locator technology, smart charging and a convenient automatic payment function designed to cater to the increasing demand for mobile, fast-charging solutions.
The Zheijing-based company is one of the country’s fast-growing EV charging service operators and the first Chinese company of its kind listed on the NASDAQ.
NaaS believes infrastructure like automatic recharger robots will become an integral part of EV ownership.
EV charging solutions have become a conundrum for some governments, particularly in regions like Scandinavia and China, where EV adoption is most prevalent.
According to data compiled by American research giant, McKinsey & Co, Europe had an estimated 375 000 charging stations as of 2021.
However, to accommodate the massive influx of new EV owners expected in the coming decade, the continent would require the installation of a further 3 million stations by 2030, at a cost of roughly $240 billion.
Developed by NaaS’s Automatic Energy Replenishment Solution team, an arm of the company that hosts a slew of robotics experts and former employees of prominent technology brands including Bosch and BMW, the water- and shock-proof robot is 5G-enabled and is compatible with most battery and charging configurations.
According to NaaS, their design uses deep learning, voice-to-everything (V2X) technology and real-time mapping and location.
This allows the near-autonomous device to actively seek EVs with depleted battery units, self-park, dock and undock with charging ports via a self-developed mechanical arm, and return to its stations, all without input from a human operator.
NaaS, China’s first EV-charging service provider, listed on Wall Street in November 2022.
It has installed more than 515 000 chargers worldwide, collecting more than 100 domestic and international patents for charging-related products and services in the process, according to information provided in its latest press release.
The same press release did not disclose a potential rollout window for the recharging robot, nor did it list a detailed overview of the product specs, such as the weight or dimensions of the prototype.
Despite the limited information released so far, the investor market reacted swiftly. The company’s share price took a significant 17% jump, reaching nearly $10.00 a share, with the news of its latest creation surfaced online in April 2023, according to the trading website, MarketWatch.