Charging your battery-powered vehicle could get a lot easier if EV Safe Charge has anything to say about it. The company has just unveiled a new mobile charging robot named Ziggy that can top up your EV while you’re out running errands, according to tech site Electrek. Once you’ve booked a charging session, the rolling battery bank will identify a spot in a parking lot for you, reserve it, then charge your battery while you’re off shopping, seeing a movie or grabbing a bite to eat.
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You’ll be able to book and summon Ziggy using either a mobile app or your EV’s infotainment system. EV Safe Charge hasn’t revealed the rate at which the robot will be able to charge, but the company told Eletrek that Level 2 charging (12-80 miles per hour) will be available at launch. The company also said it will eventually be capable of Level 3 charging (3-20 miles per minute). When it’s done charging your battery, Ziggy will return to its home base, where it will recharge itself using either the parking lot’s power grid, battery storage solar energy or a mixture of all three.
Ziggy certainly sounds promising, but there are a couple potential downsides. The first is that the robot will be equipped with two large touch screens. They could be used to display relevant information, but EV Safe Charge’s renders of the device also suggests the device could be used as a rolling billboard. The second, which was first pointed out by New Atlas, is the question as to whether or not the machine can function as planned in a crowded parking lot. If you’ve ever shopped a mall during holidays, you know how crazed drivers can be while fighting for a space. It’s hard to imagine holiday-addled shoppers passing over a space because it was reserved by a robot.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out if Ziggy works as planned. EV Safe Charge hasn’t announced a firm launch date yet, but plans to put the charging robot into production next year.
Previously published on Robb Report.