It’s not particularly onerous to have to plug in your electric vehicle, but it’s intriguing that a machine could do all the charging for you. The ConnectMyEv charger is autonomous. So you can park and walk away knowing that powering up is taking place in your absence.
The device, developed in Northern California by U.C. Berkeley-trained engineer Satyajit Patwardhan, sits waiting to find an appropriate car to mate. When yours is in its presence, it extends an arm that attaches to a unit underneath the vehicle. There, it charges using a conductive charging method: metal touching metal.
Patwardhan says it charges as fast as a conventional plug-in charger, though it’s more expensive. It will cost about $1,500 when it goes on sale next year, compared to $600 to $700 for a standard wall-mounted home charger (Tesla is also working on autonomous charging). ConnectMyEv is now sending off units to be tested with car manufacturers and their first-tier suppliers.
You don’t need to be particularly accurate when parking: anywhere within a range of two feet works fine. “There is nothing wrong with plug-in parking,” Patwardhan says. “But this is a modern-day convenience.” Whether it’s worth the premium price, we’re not completely sure.