Raleigh, North Carolina – AAA has unveiled North America’s first roadside assistance truck capable of charging electric vehicles. The U.S. motor club said it is now able to come to the rescue of members with depleted electric vehicles and provide Level 2 (240 volts) and Level 3 (direct current up to 500 volts) charging on the roadside.
“AAA has been a leader in addressing the needs of motorists for more than a century, and the introduction of mobile electric vehicle charging continues that tradition,” said Marshall Doney, automotive vice-president. “As the electric vehicle market continues to emerge, AAA is ready to help alleviate some ‘range anxiety’ with the ability to provide a charge to electric vehicles on the roadside that gets drivers back on the go quickly.”
AAA will initially deploy the trucks in six metropolitan areas as a pilot program, including Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; the San Francisco Bay area; Los Angeles; Knoxville, Tennessee; and the Tampa Bay area. The phased rollout will begin later this summer and continue into the fall.
The pilot program will include assist vehicles with different charging capabilities to allow the motor club to evaluate multiple technologies in different environments around the U.S. The truck unveiled at the announcement uses a removable lithium-ion battery pack for mobile charging, while other vehicles will be equipped with generators powered by alternative fuels and other power sources.
AAA will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time to members with discharged electric vehicles, which will allow them to drive three to 15 miles (four to 24 km) to a charging station where they can further charge their vehicles. The auto club will enhance its existing hybrid vehicle training for operators to include battery electric vehicles and specific equipment training for technicians operating the mobile vehicle charging units.