AAA, the nation’s largest motor club, will now be able to provide Level 2 and Level 3 mobile charging services to members with electric vehicles for the very first time. New trucks rolling out to six metropolitan areas across the U.S. will come to the rescue of its members with ‘depleted’ electric vehicles.
The service was officially introduced this week at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition. The trucks will arrive in Portland (Ore.), Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville (Tenn.) and the Tampa Bay area this summer and they will continue their service into the fall.
“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.”
Similar services have already been launched in Japan, where Nissan teamed up with the Japan Automobile Federation to provide emergency charging services. The new pilot program from AAA is the first of its kind in North America and it’s expected to gain traction as the number of electric vehicles increases.
“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 company exec John Nielsen.
According to Nissan Dealerships Maryland, the new trucks are remarkably similar to AAA’s other light services vehicles, but they will be equipped with Level 2 (220 volt) and Level 3 (440 volt direct current) quick-chargers. The latter will be able to recharge a depleted battery in as little as 30 minutes.
Based on current manufacturer projections, approximately 1.2 million electric vehicles will be on the road by 2015. For AAA, the time is right to begin catering to the unique needs of EV drivers.