“Instead of drivers trying to find a charger, the charger will find them.”

The Chinese company Aiways (known mostly from its all-electric SUV U5) announced that it has been granted seven patents across Europe and China, covering its autonomous mobile charging robot CARL (design and charging method).

The idea of CARL is pretty simple and already demonstrated also by other companies - just park your EV and summon the charging robot using an app.

The CARL robot is smart enough to find the car and plug-in to replenish energy without a driver present, using its own mobile energy storage of 30 or 60 kWh. However, we didn't see on the video how the robot will open and close the charging flap (and an additional seal on some EVs).

"Developed with 30kwh and 60kwh capacities, CARL can provide a fast charge to any EV with a recognized charging standard. Re-charging an EV battery to 80% in under 50 minutes, CARL offers a flexible and economical charging solution to private and corporate customers, as well as infrastructure developers and operators."

Once the charging is complete, CARL can move on to the next EV or return to base to recharge its own battery.

Alex Klose, Vice President for Overseas Operations at AIWAYS said:

“Instead of drivers trying to find a charger, the charger will find them. We want to make EV ownership as simple, easy and enjoyable as possible, and CARL provides a blueprint for how EVs can be charged in the future.”

To be honest, we have serious doubts about the economic viability of such a solution compared to stationary charging points. Moreover, Volkswagen’s Mobile Charging Robot seems to be less costly as there is a single master robot and multiple slave robots acting as chargers.

Gallery: Aiways CARL autonomous mobile charging robot

The first prototype was shown in early 2019 in China: