(Nashville) AAA is expanding its services for electric vehicle owners across the United States. The motor club is launching a pilot program, offering roadside charging for EVs in 16 metro areas.
“AAA is prepared to service any vehicle type, whether gas or electric,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Range anxiety remains the number one barrier between consumers and wider EV adoption. AAA will help ease this anxiety by deploying specialized trucks equipped with mobile electric vehicle chargers, providing enough range to get drivers home or to the nearest charging station.”
For AAA members, this service is provided at no additional charge. AAA will continue to assess the demand for mobile electric vehicle charging and will add locations as needed. As part of this evaluation, AAA will also explore various mobile charging methods to deliver the best experience to its members.
Phase One of the Pilot Program
This is the second pilot of its kind that AAA has brought to the marketplace in the last decade. The purpose of the first pilot, launched in 2010, was to explore a few prototype technologies that could be used to charge electric vehicles at the roadside. After 10 years of service, all the original prototype vehicles (five total) were retired. AAA took learnings from that pilot to inform this next iteration.
AAA Roadside Service Information: Training and Education for Technicians
AAA is continuously developing resources that inform roadside assistance teams or those in the industry of the newest updates in electric vehicle technology and systems. AAA’s Roadside Service Information (RSI) system demonstrates techniques to provide safe roadside service to electric vehicles through tutorials and videos. This resource can be used at the roadside via mobile devices, is shared with others in the towing industry, and is available to public subscribers. To learn more, please visit RSI.aaa.biz.
Road Trip Planning with AAA
AAA has publicly-available digital tools to help with planning road trips – for gas-powered or electric vehicles. They can be used to locate charging stations, save favorite or frequent trips for future travel, and discover extensive destination information including points of interest.
TripTik: The AAA TripTik Travel Planner is a free point-to-point directions tool that travelers can use to map their routes, specifically plotting the location of electric vehicle charging (or gas) stations. Charging stations are currently displayed under fuel and identifiable with unique iconography. Travelers see the level of charging available and can zero in on station details. AAA is regularly adding new features and soon users will have the ability to create curated road trips with electric charging stations and content.
Tour Book Guides: Since 1926, AAA members have trusted the travel information in AAA's free TourBook guides to help them plan their most memorable vacations. Now in digital form, travelers can plan stops at electric charging stations that are currently displayed in individual listings like hotels.
Trip Canvas: A brand new digital planning tool, Trip Canvas provides new ways for travelers to dream, plan, and share future road trips by selecting where and when they want to go. This tool will soon have many integrated features designed with electric vehicle drivers in mind.
AAA Trusted and Tested, Research that Charges Forward
Electric vehicles are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and reduce dependence on imported oil because they use domestically produced energy. If you’ve never ridden in an electric vehicle, you may find them intimidating or unapproachable. But electric vehicles are not that different from their gas-powered counterparts and understanding what makes them “go” may be easier than most people think.
To help educate the public, AAA conducts research surrounding electric vehicles including consumer sentiment surveys, testing to determine factors impacting electric vehicle range, the true cost of electric vehicle ownership, and a survey on consumers’ experience with going electric. To see the full body of research, visit AAA Newsroom.
AAA Car Guide
AAA also provides consumer education pieces like the AAA Car Guide, produced by the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. The Guide aims to help car buyers understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs. This work began over a decade ago with the first edition of what was then known as the AAA Green Car Guide, intended to help consumers navigate the electric vehicle marketplace. While the parameters of the Guide have evolved to include things like driver assistance features, interestingly many of the top-rated vehicles are also electric.
Public Charging Access at AAA Branch Office Locations
Even though 75% of charging is done at home, a concern that is often expressed by those unsure of electric vehicles is that there are not enough public charging stations. This means that while charging at home may be a good option, charging outside the home seems to be another mystery all its own. To address this issue, many AAA clubs are installing charging stations at select branch office locations to offer members another easy and convenient charging option.