Even as electric vehicle technology transforms the industry, most EV chargers still bear a strange likeness to the traditional internal-combustion world, plugging into a port on the car just like an old-fashioned gas pump nozzle.
But some companies, including startup Power Hydrant, are proposing revolutionary changes. The 4- year-old Boston company's technology promises to charge self-driving electric cars, buses and trucks using robotics and sensor-based conductive autonomous fast-charging.
In Power Hydrant's vision, an electric vehicle would enter a charging area, where Wi-Fi will detect it via augmented reality "eyes." It would then create a 3D point cloud, enabling Power Hydrant technology to locate the charging outlet on the vehicle.
A robotic arm would then move the plug into position and enter the socket to charge the vehicle, while remote monitoring tracks the progress of the charge. The data would allow the system to prioritize the charging of multiple parked EVs.