Take that, “range anxiety.”
AAA is now getting in on the EV bonanza by offering roadside assistance to EVs in select U.S. metro areas. Starting later this summer, AAA will deploy a “quick-charge truck” to Portland (OR), Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Knoxville (TN) and Tampa, FL.
The company stresses that it will expand into more areas as EV’s gain in popularity. Says AAA executive John Nielsen: “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.”
The truck, which may use either a lithium-ion battery, generators powered by compressed natural gas, or hydraulic power—the company is testing many options—will offer both a level 2 (220 volt) and a Level 3 (440 volt) charge, the latter of which could fully charge an EV in 30 minutes. The catch is that AAA is only going to give you 15 minutes with the trucks, giving you a half-charge if you use the Level 3 and less if you use the Level 2.
Eh. Fifteen minutes on a 220 charge may not even get you home, depending on how far from home you are, and EV charging stations are not exactly as abundant as gas stations. Still, some roadside assistance for EVs is much better than no roadside assistance.
As a AAA customer I have to say I’ve always been impressed with their service (and no, I don’t also work there nor have any friends/relatives who do) and have found the peace of mind that comes with having AAA is worth the very reasonable yearly fee.
It’s nice that EV owners, at least in some cities, will be able to enjoy that peace of mind as well.