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Discussion in 'North America' started by smorgasbord, Jun 21, 2011.
AAA Plans Electric Vehicle Charger Trucks
Level 3 charging, according to Autoblog Green.
In the UK, the AA will typically carry around 10 litres of unleaded petrol, so good for 70-100 miles of driving for most people. What sort of charge does an EVMCU (Electric Vehicle Mobile Charging Unit) need to carry, assuming it isn't generating level-3 power in real time? Is 5KWh enough?
5kW is only 15-20 miles and the inverter/charger is likely to be much more expensive.
From the cost point of view, you could reasonably carry a lot more battery.
I'm excited to see a portable level 3 charging solution.
That may be a pipe dream on their part and they may just deploy is a low current level 2 solution - you could build one of those with off the shelf parts right now.
What would be so much better would be a way for one EV to share some juice with another EV.
It would be great to rescue your fellow EV driver by charging up his depleted battery with your full one.
This would be similar to providing a boost to a lead acid battery. One EV providing a charge to another EV might require reconfigured cables and perhaps some software.
We talked about this idea here some years ago. With full V2G tech it should be possible. I think we called it V2V.
Another article on this. From Cnet: AAA mobile chargers tackle EV range anxiety by Martin LaMonica
Here's the original press release from AAA dtd 7/18/2011: AAA Unveils North America's First Roadside Assistance Truck Capable of Charging Electric Vehicles
That must be some expensive truck if it can provide 440v Level 3 charging! It just seems to me that it would be far more economical to just use the tow trucks that are already in existence and tow the dead car to the nearest charging station or the owner's home.
Have been talking on several occasions to a buddy of mine (Bob Darbelnet) who just happens to be President of AAA (how's that for name-dropping!). He is a forward looking guy and AAA is also now installing charging stations at a number of their offices. Here's a local press release for Tampa:
AAA may also install a charging station in Sarasota at their office on the south side of the city. Downtown is already served with free charge points in the municipal multi-story car park.
I think installing charging stations at all the AAA offices is a great idea! I just don't think the charging trucks are economical.
I understand that the idea is to add chargers to the existing trucks. Besides, AAA is a members organization and therefore non-profit and they build a great deal of their offering around other services so it makes sense to keep their membership high. With the growth of EV's they need to be able to provide service to EV drivers and keep them (win them) as members.
I find they're reluctant to tow if they don't have to. I wonder what the technical specs are of the EVSE on the trucks.
From the press release:
Of course. Why would they tow if they don't have to? But if the car can't run, then towing is the only option. Unless there's a $100,000 charging truck somewhere within X number of miles that's used two or three times a year.
Other than being a AAA member for about 30 years, I don't have a lot of knowledge about the back end of things. I've always been on the outskirts, towed or supported by third party vendors and never by a AAA branded truck. So I don't know how they handle things in the core city.
In my case I wanted a tow because I thought there was something else wrong with the car since it had a history of not starting.
Can't make a good guess at AAA's cost till we really know what they're offering. That lowest level, three miles of range in 15 minutes, sounds about what you'd expect to get from the Leaf's 3.3kW charger. Where as 15 miles of range in 10 minutes would likely require better than 20kW (meaning DC).
Any any rate, a charge when available (and a tow when not) sounds reasonable for a service you hope not to need. It's probably worth it to AAA just for the PR.
Plug-In 2011: AAA's got a "range anxiety solution" in electric vehicle assistance trucks Autoblog Green
Feeling Flat? The AAA Will Soon Be Able To Charge You Up
It will have CHAdeMO? Sweet!
Trucks Will Save Your Stranded EV | Autopia | Wired.com
rolling out in WA now I guess:
AAA launches roadside charging service for electric vehicles in WA - Local News - Seattle, WA | NBC News
I wish at least one of the reports would give us some actual numbers on the charge rate and adapters supported. I couldn't find any useful data on AAA's site either, even the Washington state flavor.
??? That info is in this thread above.
So with a chademo adapter we should be in biz