Ford’s Robotic Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Will Help People With Disabilities

Ford has been tackling EV charging issues lately, hoping to pave the way for widespread electric vehicle adoption sooner. Now, Ford’s robotic electric vehicle charging stations can do just that. How will this benefit disabled drivers in electric cars?

Ford’s robotic electric vehicle charging stations offer drivers a helping hand

Ford's Robotic Electric Vehicle Charging Stations during testing
Ford’s robotic electric vehicle charging stations during testing | Ford

Ford announced this week that it was testing out robotic electric vehicle charging stations that can help disabled drivers charge up. The automaker hopes these charging stations will help “disabled drivers, people with reduced mobility, and older people.” This new prototype allows drivers to operate the charger from a smartphone inside the electric car. Drivers can stay in the car or leave the car to charge while the robot does all the work.

“Ford is testing the robot charging station as part of a research project to develop hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles.”

Ford

A study found that easy charging was a main topic of consideration for disabled drivers looking for a new vehicle. As a result, the automaker did some initial testing and is moving on to test the robot EV chargers in real-life situations.

Ford’s robotic electric vehicle charging stations could one day be fully automatic

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Ford’s robotic EV charging station is activated using the smartphone app. The charging station cover slides open to reveal a charging art. The arm moves toward the inlet with the help of a camera. Drivers can monitor this process and the charge status via the FordPass app. Once charging is complete, the arm retracts back into the charging station.

Dortmund University in Germany designed the robotic charging station from the ground up. People could install these chargers in homes, disabled parking spaces, or other parking areas.

The technology doesn’t have to stop there, either. This robotic charger could help with fleets of electric cars that all might need to charge overnight. Ford hopes the process will one day be fully automatic, i.e., drivers wouldn’t have to use a smartphone to initiate charging.

Tesla, GM, and Ford are working on the charging situation together

Tesla and GM are working on the charging network alongside Ford. At this point, Tesla has a significant amount of the electric vehicle market. That number changes every day, though. Many Tesla owners installed a home charger, which made the development of public charging stations a low priority. With that said, Tesla has a significant number of charging stations.

GM says it is working on the Ultium Charge 360 project, which will help bring more chargers to convenient areas. Similarly, Ford’s BlueOval Charging Network has 20,000 charging stations and 60,000 plugs and counting.

In conclusion, widespread EV adoption won’t be possible without all of these significant players working together. Ford’s robotic electric vehicle charging stations are just a tiny piece of the puzzle, but it shows how committed the automaker is to the evolution of EVs.

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