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Electrify America and Stable announce collaboration to deploy robotic fast-charging facility for self-driving EV fleets

; Date: August 1, 2019

Tags: Electrify America »»»» Electric Vehicles »»»» Self Driving vehicles »»»» EV charging

The coming wave of robocars requires robotic charging systems it seems. All the automakers are planning autonomously driven cars, that require no human driver, to provide automated taxi services - kind of like Uber or Yellow Cab but without the driver. Such robotaxi's will need charging stations, and Stable looks to provide fast charging services for these robotaxi's. The first step is a pilot project in San Francisco.

The collaboration will deploy the first commercial robotic charging services for self-driving and electric vehicle fleets

Reston, VA (August 1, 2019) – Electrify America today announced an agreement with San Francisco-based electric vehicle (EV) fleet charging company Stable Auto to deploy robotic charging solutions for self-driving vehicles in a pilot demonstration site in San Francisco, as both companies develop infrastructure solutions needed to deploy self-driving and electric vehicle fleets.

Electrify America and Stable recognize the emergence of both electric and autonomous vehicle fleets, and are jointly working to address the absence of dedicated charging facilities equipped for such vehicles with this demonstration. The two companies will deploy a pilot solution in San Francisco, CA, aimed at charging autonomous EVs without human intervention using a robotic solution attached to a 150kW DC fast charger. This charging location will be Stable’s first commercial autonomous charging site and is anticipated to be open in early 2020.

As part of this agreement, Electrify America will evaluate the hardware, network, operations and billing of its charging systems to best suit autonomous charging fleets. Electrify America has provided two 150kW DC fast chargers to Stable’s charging facility for initial development work behind demonstrating the commercial viability of autonomous charging services for self-driving EVs.

“We believe that reliable, high power electric vehicle charging infrastructure is essential for the accelerated adoption of EVs in the U.S., and recognize that foundational solutions like DC fast charging can be adapted for different charging needs,” says Wayne Killen, director, infrastructure planning and business development, Electrify America, LLC. “Autonomous vehicles will play an important role in the future of driving, particularly with fleets, and tailored charging options for self-driving EVs will be critical to develop that effort. We’re excited to partner with Stable to be at the forefront of learning more and developing those charging solutions.”

Stable will manage the overall project and pair its robotic technology and advanced scheduling software located at its facility with Electrify America’s chargers. The dedicated fleet-charging facility will allow self-driving EV fleets to charge with no operators present: vehicles can park themselves anywhere inside a standard parking space, and Stable’s robot will automate the connection between the vehicle and the charger.

“We are proud to partner with Electrify America in this first step towards drastically accelerating the reach of electrification and autonomy. Our models have shown dramatic improvements to fleet utilization and operating cost-per-mile when fleet vehicles are paired with automated infrastructure in strategically chosen locations. For the benefit of our cities and ultimately of our planet, we are excited to introduce this new charging paradigm alongside Electrify America” said Rohan Puri, co-founder and CEO of Stable.

Stable has selected Black & Veatch to be the engineering company for this project. Stable pointed to Black & Veatch’s experience in delivering global infrastructure solutions for cleantech transportation markets as a leading factor for its selection for the role.

As a part of Electrify America’s Cycle 2 plans, the company announced plans to conduct autonomous charging demonstrations to better understand the optimal charging site design, hardware and back-end solutions. Information from this first site will also help both companies evaluate appropriate business models for different autonomous fleet holders across various locations at commercial scale.

Say hello to your new robotic overlord?

About Electrify America

Electrify America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America headquartered in Reston, VA, and with an office in Pasadena, CA, is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. For more information, visit (www.electrifyamerica.com) www.electrifyamerica.com.

About Stable Auto

Stable (formerly Diatom Robotics) provides the first complete solution for charging electric and autonomous vehicle fleets at high-utilization. Powered by advanced fleet data models, and operated automatically by scheduling software and robotic attendants, our chargers are always ready when and where you need them most. Based in San Francisco, CA, and founded in 2017, the Stable team comprises world-class experts in machine learning, robotics, operations, and energy with a simple mission: to reinvent gas stations for the new era of transportation. For more information, visit www.stable.auto

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on (www.bv.com) www.bv.com and in social media.

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.
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