While electric cars are a major innovation set to change the way people get around in the very near future, the technology has also been driving all sorts of peripheral developments that will change what tomorrow looks like.
Earlier this year Tesla Motors showed off its Powerwall home energy storage system and now the company has unveiled another futuristic concept, an automated tentacle-style robotic arm that finds your car’s charging port for you.
Not much is currently known about the tentacle charger other than what is shown in the video. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk first hinted at the concept last year on Twitter:
Since the tweet no other information has been released until the video shared this week, confirming that Musk really was “For realz.”
The benefits for drivers of electric vehicles are obvious; when you need to charge you wouldn’t have to get out of your vehicle or plug it in by hand, a task that some people may forget.
According to the charging support information on the Tesla Motors website, you can expect variable performances depending on how and where you charge its vehicles. Using a mobile power connector only offers 46 kilometres of driving range per hour of charging, charging at home using a power outlet is better, giving you 93 kilometres per hour of charging. The public Tesla Supercharger stations offer the best charging speed, offering 273 kilometres in just 30 minutes.
It may not be as fast as refueling a car with gasoline but it’s also not as bad for the environment, so if Tesla’s auto-charger helps make things easier and ensures the car’s range is kept high (instead of letting batteries run low from forgetting to charge it), then it can only be a good thing.