To help address what has been dubbed “range anxiety,” AAA announced that they are deploying North America’s first roadside assistance trucks with the capability to charge electric vehicles. A pilot program will be launched in 6 cities, including Portland, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville, and the Tampa Bay area in a phased rollout that will begin later this summer. The roadside assistance trucks will be capable of providing Level 3 (DC Fast Charging) and Level 2 (AC Quick Charging) to electric vehicles.
AAA’s Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging program will work the same as the current service for motorists with conventional vehicles who run out of fuel – a limited amount of fuel will be supplied, enough to drive safely to a location where they can further fuel their vehicle. Ten to fifteen minutes of charge time will enable the electric vehicle to drive three to fifteen miles to a charging station where the motorist can “fill up” with an additional charge.
AAA plans to utilize vehicles equipped with different charging technologies, which will allow them to evaluate multiple technologies in different environments around the country. Some will feature a removable lithium-ion battery pack while others will be equipped with generators powered by alternative fuels and other power sources. The trucks will also provide traditional services including battery testing, jump starts and replacements, tire changes, and lockout service.