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EV Range Anxiety? Have No Fear, AAA’s EV Assistance Trucks Are Here! | Solar Energy USA Blog Archive

EV Range Anxiety? Have No Fear, AAA’s EV Assistance Trucks Are Here!

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 2:35 pm by Solar Energy USA

This article on electric vehicles (EVs) is borrowed from Green Autoblog:

plug-in-2011-aaa-3-1024x584 For AAA, the powertrain you have in your car shouldn’t affect your roadside assistance. If you’re a member and you call for help, AAA wants to help you out. Of course, bringing a can of gasoline to your Nissan Leaf isn’t going to do a whole lot, so AAA is taking the first steps to diversify its offerings.

For electric car drivers, that means that AAA’s trucks will soon provide a “range anxiety solution” thanks to technology from Green Charge Networks. The new trucks, which will be rolled out in a limited pilot program over the next year, can offer all the standard AAA services as well as a bit of EV recharging. The trucks have a 4.5 kWh lithium-ion battery on board that can give a stranded electric car anywhere between 15 and three miles of power. This range is dependent on the type of charger the car has and because AAA doesn’t like to sit for more than 15 minutes on the side of the road. If they can’t solve the problem in that time, it’s usually preferred to tow the car in (this is standard AAA practice). So, if the EV can take a DC fast charge using CHAdeMo, it can get around 15 miles of juice in a 15-minute charge. With a more common Level 2 J1772 charger, a car can get either six miles (using a 6.6 kW charger) or three miles (3.3 kW) in those same 15 minutes. The truck itself can recharge its pack from the grid or its gasoline-powered engine; the truck can also be equipped with CNG or hydraulic hybrid power for further fuel diversification.

plug-in-2011-aaa-1-1024x700 The first six test trucks will go to work this August in Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; the Bay Area and Los Angeles, CA; Knoxville, TN; and Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL. For AAA members, there will be no added price for the EV recharge service. Dwayne Shumate, an automotive technical engineer for AAA, told AutoblogGreen that, “Our goal is to provide roadside assistance no matter what you drive. When we get to hydrogen cars, we’ll do something else.”