It's not pretty, but it works.
The subject of charging is the one that always comes up when discussing electric vehicles. It doesn't matter if your Tesla Model S Plaid has over 1,000 horsepower and can do the quarter-mile in single-digit times - at the end of the day, the guy in his Hellcat can just fill it with gas while you have to wait around.
Of course, things are easier if you never need the full range of your EV, and recharging the car is as simple as plugging it in when you get home. But what if the act of plugging your car in is too laborious for you? Tesla and others have said that they are working on automating even the charging process, but one owner with a Model 3 appears to have a jumpstart.
Pat Larson is the man behind the crude but effective machine that plugs his car in for him when he arrives home. A Raspberry Pi 4 is the brain of the operation, with a camera, a light, and ultrasonic sensors among the other components used to ensure that the mechanism doesn't damage the car. Unfortunately, it still needs some work as it's still quite slow and basic a setup, but there's no doubt that it works. It hones in on the illuminated Tesla logo under the charging port cap to center itself, with the camera on the arm allowing for minute adjustments to be made
It's been developed to work with the Tesla API, meaning that once it picks up readings from the car telling it that charging is complete, it will automatically retract the charger and close the charging port door, so it really is an automated system. All in all, the slow machine isn't bad, as even with Larson pausing to explain some of the processes, the car is connected in a little over five minutes. With a few more tweaks, this system could very well be the perfect automatic home charging solution. It still doesn't make an EV more convenient than a gas-powered car, but it's one more hurdle cleared.