AAAmobilecharging
AAA in Washington now has a mobile charging truck for electric vehicles that run out of juice.

AAAcarElectric car owners rejoice: If you ever run out of juice on Washington roads, there’s a new service to help get you recharged. 

AAA in Washington officially launched its first mobile charging truck Wednesday, becoming one of the first AAA agencies in the nation to offer a helping hand to electric vehicle drivers who need that extra jolt.

The service is available to the Seattle/Bellevue region and can give a 15-minute level-3 charge (500 volts direct current), which provides about 10 extra miles for the typical electric car — hopefully just enough to get you to the nearest charging station.

Washington’s truck, which can also perform regular AAA emergency tasks like tire changes and gas delivery, is unique. It’s the first in the country to feature an electric vehicle charging generator that is powered by the truck itself.

There are three other similar charging trucks in Oregon and California, but those require gas or alternative fuel to power the generator, which is what charges the electric car.

AAAelectricmobile1AAA in Washington has staff members on a national committee for automobile technology who helped get the truck to Washington.

“We were chosen because we were part of the group that came up with the idea,” said AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Cook. “We wanted to be first out there with this technology.”

AAA is already seeing the benefits of the new service. On March 4, the first day the truck was on the road, one customer’s Nissan Leaf had run out of battery.

“She went out to her vehicle and it was dead,” Cook said. “Thankfully, our truck fit in her parking garage and gave her enough energy so she could go to the nearest charging station.”

In addition to the four west coast trucks, AAA has plans to implement the service in Knoxville, Tenn. and Tampa, Fla. 

Comments

  • Michael

    What does average electric car mean here? 15 minutes from a level 3 (480v) charger should give Nissan LEAF owners about 50 miles of range. 30 minutes fills the LEAF to capacity.

    • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

      And hence the need (if there were actually any electric cars on the road.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andre.hut.3 Andre Hut

    I see the truck is gas powered. How humiliating!

    • http://www.facebook.com/karen.wolfe.52 Karen Wolfe

      “It’s the first in the country to feature an electric vehicle charging generator that is powered by the truck itself.”

      What were you thinking, Andre? Solar panels on the truck? A mini wind turbine? Nuclear? Let’s remember that we’re in a bridging phase here and that not everyone can afford 55K for the range of a model s.

  • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

    Great idea, for the price of some stickers, AAA can get a few thousand signups and goodwill publicity.

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