AAA Unveils North America’s First Roadside Assistance Truck Capable of Charging Electric Vehicles

RALEIGH, N.C., – 7/18/2011

To help address range anxiety, the nation’s largest motor club will be first in North America to provide Level 2 and Level 3 mobile charging services to members with electric vehicles

AAA unveiled today North America’s first roadside assistance truck with the capability to charge electric vehicles. The motor club is able to come to the rescue of its members with ‘depleted’ electric vehicles and provide Level 2 and Level 3 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 L. Doney, AAA 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.”

During a news conference at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition, AAA announced it initially will deploy the trucks with mobile electric vehicle charging capability in six metropolitan areas across the U.S. as a pilot program, including Portland (Ore.), Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville (Tenn.) and the Tampa Bay area. The phased rollout will begin later this summer and continue into the fall.

“While these six areas are part of the initial pilot program, we’ve had tremendous interest from AAA clubs across the country to offer this service to their members, and we anticipate expanding the program to additional areas in the months following initial deployment,” said John Nielsen, AAA Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information during a news conference at Plug-In 2011.

Additional Resources

Nielsen explained the pilot program will include AAA Roadside Assistance vehicles equipped with different technologies used to provide mobile charging capabilities to allow the motor club to evaluate multiple technologies in different environments around the country.

The AAA Roadside Assistance truck unveiled at Plug-In 2011 is powered by Green Charge Networks. It featured a removable lithium-ion battery pack for mobile charging. Other vehicles will be equipped with generators powered by alternative fuels and other power sources.

The truck is remarkably similar to AAA’s other light services vehicles — a noted difference to mobile charging vehicles recently unveiled in other countries. Officials demonstrated how the truck is equipped to allow AAA’s technicians to provide traditional AAA Roadside Assistance capabilities to all motorists, such as battery testing, jump starts and replacements, tire changes, fuel delivery and lockout service.

“AAA’s mobile electric vehicle charging is intended to be a service similar to what AAA has provided to motorists with gas-powered vehicles for nearly a century. When your vehicle runs out of fuel — whether it is traditional gasoline or electric ‘fuel’ — AAA can provide you with a limited amount to help you safely reach a location where you can fill up your tank or your battery,” explained Nielsen.

AAA will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time to members with discharged electric vehicles, which will allow the vehicle to drive three to 15 miles to a charging station where they can further charge their vehicle.

The first Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were delivered to customers in December 2010, and manufacturers estimate production by year-end to be a combined 40,000 vehicles with an additional 145,000 planned for 2012. Current manufacturer projections have 1.2 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

Related Articles

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.