AAA to provide emergency EV charging for stranded drivers

2011 Nissan LEAF charge port image

Electric vehicles are finding buyers, even while range anxiety persists. But those that worry about their vehicle suddenly running out of electricity while driving need not worry, as AAA has you covered.

AAA has just announced the addition of EV mobile charging units to its roadside assistance operations. The organization is starting off with just six units in select states in August. Each of these charging units should be well-equipped to handle the needs of most electric vehicles, and will feature Level 2 chargers and super-fast Level 3 chargers that can power up a car in a matter of minutes.

“For more than 100 years, AAA has been a leader in addressing the needs of the motoring public,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information. “Dating back to the early days of the automobile, AAA has kept the pulse of the ever-changing automotive industry, and that continues today as we ready AAA’s emergency road service operations to address the emerging electric vehicle market.”

Motor organizations around the world are also beginning to introduce similar mobile EV charging units. The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), for example, has also recently launched a trial service that will rescue stranded EV owners should they require emergency juice.

“As EVs gain wider consumer acceptance, it is important to create a roadside assistance system that can help motorists driving EVs which have run out of battery power, as well as to build a charging infrastructure,” said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan’s senior vice president of External and Governmental Affairs. “Nissan is leveraging the development and trial operation of this roadside service vehicle with charging equipment – and the accompanying staff training – to strengthen cooperation with JAF and to benefit customers. This will build confidence in EV use and contribute toward achieving a society with low carbon emissions.”

AAA will launch these new vehicles in California, Florida, and Washington this summer. Look for more details on the organization’s deployment plans next month at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition. In the meantime, with Nissan already leading in the EV segment, perhaps the new line of Nissan commercial vehicles could be of use in the emerging mobile EV recharging field.

Written by David Lux

David is a blogger, marketer, and spends copious hours devouring content concerning autos, tech, and then more autos. You can follow him on Twitter: @autocontent
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