Redefining the electric vehicle experience with autonomous charging

Posted on 12 Jul 2023 by Joe Bush

Rocsys, a provider of autonomous charging solutions for electric vehicles, has announced a €33m Series A funding round. Led by SEB Greentech Venture Capital, the round also includes participation from Graduate Entrepreneur, the European Investment Bank, and returning investor Forward.One.

With this latest investment, which includes a roughly equal split of debt and equity financing, Rocsys will expand the capabilities of its platform for electric vehicles as it rapidly scales its presence in the US and Europe.

Rocsys combines soft robotics, AI-based computer vision and data-driven services to easily adapt existing chargers into an autonomous system that can plug in and out without manual intervention. This removes the risk of operator errors, ensures regulatory compliance and vehicle uptime, and minimises damage and human exposure to high-voltage equipment. Even if drivers of electric vehicles forget to plug in on time or employees are barred from handling electrical cables, Rocsys ensures that all vehicles are charged and ready to operate. Rocsys’ solution works for consumer and fleet vehicles, including port equipment, industrial applications, heavy duty and more.

“At SEB, we invest in companies with proven sustainability impact, real-world and scalable use cases, and strong growth,” said Mikko Huumo, Investment Manager at SEB. “Rocsys makes electrification practical for vehicles ranging from personal autonomous cars to continuously operating heavy-duty equipment, a major source of emissions. We are thrilled to lead the company’s funding round and accelerate the sustainable transportation revolution.”

Rocsys’ innovative approach to autonomous charging puts them at the forefront of a new frontier in transportation. Adoption of electric vehicles among consumers and enterprises is reaching new heights following almost $500bn in funding made available through the US Inflation Reduction Act, in addition to similar programs worldwide. This market growth is also prompting more than $1tn in EV-related investments from automakers over the next decade.

And with funding streams like the US’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program requiring charging operators to maintain certain uptime standards, autonomous charging plays an important role in guaranteeing electric vehicle supply equipment reliability by alleviating wear and tear. It’s also a more sustainable approach: Rocsys estimates its technology will drive up to a 20% increase in throughput for fast-charging stations and is projected to reduce CO2 emissions by 400 million tonnes by 2035.

“There’s too much friction in the EV charging process today, creating needless barriers to sustainable transportation,” said Rocsys Co-founder and CEO Crijn Bouman. “That’s why we created a technology agnostic solution that converts any charger into a fully automated experience, maximising the return on investment and sustainability impact of already installed charging infrastructure. With this Series A funding, we’re bringing this breakthrough solution to more customers and industries worldwide.”

Rocsys has garnered attention from major logistics providers, manufacturers, and international corporations, leading to customer and industry partnerships with companies like Hyster, Taylor Machine Works, and SSA Marine. Rocsys is also the leading robotics company in ROCIN-ECO, a charging consortium that includes AUDI, Porsche, BMW, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz with a goal to develop an interoperable and standardised robotic fast-charging infrastructure along high-volume European transportation routes.  

Participation in ROCIN-ECO reflects Rocsys’ position in the European market, as does the support of the European Investment Bank. As the official lending arm of the European Union and a leading supporter of climate-focused start-ups, the EIB’s involvement through the InvestEU programme is a further testament to Rocsys’ sustainability leadership and alignment with the region’s policy priorities.

“Rocsys is transforming the EV charging experience by creating an easy-to-use and scalable solution,” said Frederik Gerner, Venture Partner at Forward.One. “Their ability to bring an innovative solution to the market and partner with OEMs to set an industry standard is impressive. Rocsys is the future of electric charging and we’re proud to support them in achieving their mission.”

The capital infusion will support research and development into additional features, which include intelligent parking guidance, expanded software integrations for vehicle navigation and fleet management systems, and additional remote diagnostics and teleoperations support. Rocsys also plans to build out its North American division, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, to further support application engineering and customer service in the region while expanding local supply chain and manufacturing activities. 

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