AAA's Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging truck. Image: AAA
For years, AAA has been the very first call made by drivers with car trouble. Whether it was a dead battery, a flat tire or an empty gas tank, help from a AAA representative was just a phone call away.
Now, as electric cars begin to increase in popularity, AAA is unveiling new tools to aid the stranded motorist.
AAA will deploy special roadside assistance trucks for recharging electric vehicles in six metropolitan areas, including Portland (Oregon), Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Knoxville and Tampa Bay.
The trucks will be equipped with Level 2 and Level 3 charging capability, and will give stranded motorists (who belong to AAA, of course) 10 to 15 minutes of charge time. The idea is to provide drivers of electric cars sufficient range to get to the nearest charging station.
To provide recharging capabilities, trucks will be equipped with either removable lithium-ion battery packs or with alternative-fuel-powered generators. The trucks will also be equipped to handle more traditional roadside emergencies for drivers of conventional automobiles.
AAA will launch the new trucks in a phased rollout, beginning this summer. If you drive an electric vehicle and live outside those six cities, chances are good you won’t have to wait long for AAA recharging trucks in your area.
The association anticipates it will expand the service in the months following completion of its pilot program.