AAA to offer recharges for stranded Electric Vehicles

For drivers of all-electric cars that have pushed them a bit too far, running out of a charge, the American Automobile Association is about to offer roadside recharges to its members.

The AAA roadside assistance truck will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time to members with discharged electric vehicles. This should allow the vehicle to drive three to 15 miles to a charging station where it can be further recharged.

Over 1.2 million electric vehicles are expected on the nation’s roads by 2015, the AAA says.

AAA will deploy the trucks with mobile electric vehicle charging capacity in six metropolitan areas across the U.S. as a pilot program including the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles in California. The other locations are Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and the Tampa Bay area in Florida.

“While these six areas are part of the initial pilot program, AAA has had tremendous interest from other clubs across the country to offer this service to their members,” says Cynthia Harris, a spokeswoman for AAA Northern California. “AAA anticipates expanding this program to additional areas in the months following this initial rollout phase.”

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

All AAA mobile electric vehicle charging vehicles can provide Level 3 (Direct Current Fast Charging) and Level 2 (Alternating Current Quick Charging) to electric vehicles.

The new trucks are similar to AAA’s other light service vehicles and are equipped to allow AAA technicians to provide traditional AAA Roadside Assistance capacities to all motorists, such as battery testing, jump starts and replacement, tire changes, fuel delivery and lock out service.