Los Angeles-based EV Safe Charge says that ZiGGY will bring EV charging to parking facilities, shopping and entertainment centres, hotels, fleet operators and property owners, providing cost-effective charging, overcoming the limitations of stationary EV chargers without the need for costly electrical infrastructure. In addition, ZiGGY’s digital ad server can generate advertising revenue for the facility and display customised information.

Caradoc Ehrenhalt, founder & CEO of EV Safe Charge and ZiGGY’s inventor, says: “Strong EV sales and emissions reduction goals are creating a more sustainable future, but EV charging infrastructure isn’t keeping up.

“ZiGGY is a flexible and simple solution for virtually any office, mall or apartment complex to help meet growing charging needs of its tenants and guests without expensive, time-consuming infrastructure and installation investment, if it’s even possible. In many cases, especially in older buildings, adding EV chargers isn’t an option until now.”

The robot is summoned to an EV via mobile app or in-vehicle infotainment system and will arrive at the vehicle’s parking space, ready to reserve the spot for plug-in charging. ZiGGY is able to return to its home base for recharging from grid, battery or solar energy, or a combination of these. ZiGGY can also be chosen for offsite charging if no infrastructure is available or desired onsite. The robot is equipped with two extra-large screens that serve as informational kiosks or interactive advertising displays – an additional income generator for parking facility operators. 

EV Safe Charge will lease ZiGGY to deliver 'Charging as a Service' to facilities and provide ongoing technical support and maintenance. Facility operators will have the option to direct vehicle owners to the app for payment or to provide charging as an amenity. Parking operators will no longer need to block spaces for permanent EV chargers because ZiGGY can serve all parking spaces.

“We created ZiGGY in response to growing demand for flexible EV charging solutions from our customers, and to help support the global transition to a cleaner, greener, all-electric mobility future,” Ehrenhalt added. “By helping drivers to overcome charging anxiety, one of the barriers to mass EV adoption, ZiGGY is enhancing the EV charging experience for everyone.”

EV Safe Charge engaged industrial design studio Box Clever to design ZiGGY. The Box Clever team worked on the design of its exterior, while also creating a holistic design experience including the UX and brand identity design for ZiGGY.

Box Clever’s founder and creative director Bret Recor says: “Through our work on the design and branding of ZiGGY, we are delighted to be contributing to a transformative innovation that will help advance a clean energy future. We are excited to continue our design work with ZiGGY on this shared mission.”

EV Safe Charge says it is poised to be the first company to bring to market a mobile EV charging solution featuring communication and digital, interactive advertising. ZiGGY is scheduled to enter production at the end of next year or early 2024. The company says it is taking reservations for ZiGGY today.

Sites already on board for using ZiGGY include Holiday Inn Express in Redwood City, CA, Opera Plaza in San Francisco and The William Vale, a luxury hotel in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood. 

EV Safe Charge has been funded through angel investors, including Sand Hill Angels, one of the largest early stage investing groups in the US. Drue Freeman, Sand Hill Angels board member, says: “Sand Hill Angels makes seed-stage investments in disruptive, scalable technologies that we believe can become highly profitable businesses.”

Carl Norman, president of Capstone Financial Group, an international investment bank in the automotive/mobility space, says: “We are thrilled about ZiGGY and feel it will be well received by the market because it represents a cost-effective alternative that simplifies EV charging infrastructure. ZiGGY was invented and developed by leading experts in EV charging, robotics, industrial design and engineering. We look forward to ZiGGY moving into production and to partnering with parking operators, office and residential landlords, hotels, event venues and more to support the future of flexible charging needs.”