Mobile chargers set to help stranded EV owners
Thursday 23 June 2011
The AAA, America's largest roadside assistance organiaation, is to roll out a fleet of mobile charging units to help stranded electric vehicle owners.
The motor club recently announced that it has completed a fully-functional electric vehicle charging unit, which will be deployed to its roadside assistance operations.
The unit is set to be fully unveiled in July and will be in action on US roads later in the summer, a spokesperson for the AAA said.
As a level two and three charging unit, it will be capable of "fast-charging" electric cars quicker than a normal household outlet - level two charging can fully charge a battery in 4-6 hours but level three chargers can fill a battery to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes, although it's not compatible with all types of vehicle.
The units will be rolled out to California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia, according to reports.
Running out of battery in an electric vehicle is complicated by the fact that they cannot be "towed" in the traditional sense - theoretically, turning the wheels independently could feed power back into the car (recently proved by a Dutch experiment which proved popular on YouTube).
Instead, electric vehicles must be recovered by a truck, adding expense and making running out of gas considerably more inconvenient.
AAA's move follows an announcement earlier this month by Nissan and the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) which confirmed that the parties were working together to test a mobile charging roadside assistance vehicle.
At the time, Nissan said that the new charger would help to build confidence in mobile EV use.
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