Hella develops intelligent EV charging lid


Automotive components supplier Hella has developed an electronic charging lid actuator (eLA) for the automated charging of electric vehicles.

The firm says the device makes the tank cap intelligent and so supports robot-assisted charging processes. It adds that the likes of gesture controls for automatic opening and closing of the charging lid will also be an option in the future through the new device.

According to Björn Twiehaus, MD of Hella’s global electronics business, automated EV charging is an “important lever” when it comes to “simple, consumer-friendly charging options”.

“Based on our strong lighting and electronics expertise, we are therefore working on further automating the charging process and partially automated charging processes are also conceivable as a first step,” he said.

In addition to the electronic components, intelligent lighting solutions are also an important part of the automated charging process, to intuitively visualise the battery status or charge level, for example.

For this purpose, Hella says it has developed an innovative, space-saving concept based on red, green and amber LEDs, as well as EdgeLight technology.

For example, most digital devices already display battery status with a combination of bars: a red bar means the battery is empty; all bars in green means the battery is full. The charging status display is hidden behind the charging lid and is only visible when the lid is open and the car is stationary. This also fulfills the legal requirements for motor vehicles and spare parts (ECE regulation).

To make it easier for the robot to position the charging plug, Hella has also designed a so-called ring light, with two white or RGB LEDs. Furthermore, lighting elements can be used to add additional design accents, by also illuminating the charging port of the electric vehicle with static or dynamic animations, for example.