Showing his penchant for dropping bombshells on Twitter, Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company is working on a robotic arm for recharging its Model S electric cars.
The problem with electric cars isn't just the lack of charging stations, it's also the need to remember to plug them in once they're at the charge point or home in the garage. Besides needing juice to tool about town, the banks lithium-ion batteries in the high-end electric cars are using up charge even when sitting still to make sure the batteries stay cool. This means that one evening's inattention can result in a very depressing morning as touching the pedal reveals a dead machine.
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To help avoid this, Tesla Motors is apparently working on a robotic system that does away with all that tedious finding the cable, plugging it into the car, and switching on the charger. In a tweet on Wednesday, Musk said, "Btw, we are actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake. For realz (sic)." This was followed up by a second tweet that said, "This can be used with all existing Model S cars, not just future ones."
Of course, details are lacking at this point, but it appears to be halfway point between the battery-swapping systems that Tesla has been experimenting with and the automatic petrol pumps being developed by some companies. What is particularly intriguing is that the robotic "snake" will be compatible with all Model S cars, which indicates a fairly high degree of sophistication.
Source: Tesla MotorsView gallery - 2 images