AAA, North America’s largest motoring and leading safety advocacy organization, will soon roll out the first of many roadside assistance vehicles capable of mobile electric vehicle charging. AAA’s solution to electric vehicle owners’ range anxiety is powered by Green Charge Networks — a leader in smart grid and green technology. Unveiled at the Plug In 2011 convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, this one-of-a-kind solution helps stranded electric vehicle drivers to get back on the road swiftly and safely. The lithium-ion battery onboard vehicle system provides a quick charge, allowing motorists to reach the nearest charging station for a complete refill of the battery.
“To further the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S., we took a step back to look at the bigger picture. GreenStation(TM), our fixed-location stations, are an important part of the charging infrastructure needed to support the EV movement, but there was still something missing. That prompted the co-development of a mobile charging solution with AAA,” stated Ron Prosser, president and CEO of Green Charge Networks.
Marshall L. Doney, vice president, AAA Automotive, adds, “EV drivers need a sense of security that someone can help when their cars run low on electrical charge. AAA’s first mobile electric vehicle charging solution, powered by Green Charge Networks, is ready to come to their rescue.”
The AAA mobile unit features a weatherproof and secure metal enclosure mounted in the bed of road rescue vehicles. The system displayed is powered by a removable lithium battery that provides a quick charge enough for 3 to 15 miles of driving to reach a charging location. The power management of the system is computer controlled and developed by Green Charge Networks.
“Range anxiety and running out of charge are very real issues for EV drivers. The current generation of EVs features mileage ranges that are much shorter than that of combustion-engine vehicles. Mobile electric vehicle charging is the next link in the ever-growing infrastructure supporting EV drivers around the country,” added Prosser.
AAA roadside assistance trucks will be equipped with Level 2 (240 volts of alternating current) and Level 3 (up to 500 volts of direct
current) chargers. Following the successful completion of the pilot program, AAA plans to expand distribution of the EV charging trucks to other areas of the country. AAA will initiate a pilot program in August with six mobile charging units, utilizing various technologies, in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Knoxville, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
“AAA has been actively working to create an environment where EV owners can trust that charging assistance is available if their vehicle becomes inoperable,” stated John Nielsen, director, AAA Automotive Repair and Buying. “AAA’s newest specialized roadside assistance will be delivered in the same safe and secure manner from a name known and trusted by motorists for more than a century.”
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
About Green Charge Networks
Green Charge Networks (GCN), a leader in smart grid and green technology, develops and operates intelligent systems to accommodate local demand for electricity under existing generation and storage capacity restraints. Working with utility companies as well as public and private sector organizations, GCN is equipping the nation with advanced technologies to reduce energy spending and achieve increased efficiency. Our technology uses existing grid infrastructure and enables value-adds such as electric vehicle (EV) charging. GCN is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with offices in San Francisco and Huntington Beach, Calif. Learn more at GreenChargeNet.com.