The RAC has responded to the expected rise in electric vehicles (EVs) by introducing a mobile EV charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost from one of its standard roadside rescue vans.
The first six Ford Transit patrol vans equipped with the mobile EV-charger will take to the roads in June in London, Birmingham and Manchester and will be rolled-out to areas with high call-outs.
The charger, which was developed by the RAC’s technical experts in partnership with automotive engineering firm Original Ltd, is capable of delivering a ‘top-up’ roadside charge from a standard Euro 6 diesel RAC patrol van sufficient to get a stranded EV to a nearby charge point.
The RAC EV Boost charger works with all Type 1 and Type 2 connections ensuring it will charge 99% of electric vehicles on UK roads today.
EVs present a particular challenge to recovery services as many cannot be towed normally and need to be transported with all wheels off the ground which usually requires a flat-bed vehicle.
RAC head of roadside rescue innovation Chris Millward said: “Our solution enables our patrols to help stranded EV drivers at the roadside with a power boost, equivalent to a top-up from a fuel can for a petrol or diesel car, to get them on their way again.
“With nothing like it on the market the real challenge was to develop a mobile EV-charger system which is compact and light enough to fit into our normal patrol vehicles without compromising on space, so we can still carry all the normal parts and tools to help our patrols continue to fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside.
“Other solutions that are available require valuable van space to be taken up by heavy portable chargers that negatively affect fuel economy and also need to be recharged after use. Our on-demand solution means that the power is always available when needed.
“The number of electric vehicles on the road will grow rapidly in the next few years, in particular we are seeing increased interest and take-up from business and fleet managers, so it is critical that we have an effective mobile power source for these cars in an emergency giving EV owners complete peace of mind. The new mobile RAC EV Boost charger has also been well received by our manufacturer partners.
“We also expect it will help address the anxiety some potential EV buyers have about the current charging infrastructure and vehicle range.
“The RAC is constantly looking to evolve and invest in technology to meet the changing needs of drivers and their modern vehicles, and this EV charger fits perfectly with this strategy.”