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Thursday, 22 August

Jumping RAC Flash - Patrols Get EV Rescue Charger

A lightweight charger

In readiness for the electric vehicle boom, the RAC has developed the first lightweight mobile electric vehicle charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost.

The bespoke solution can be rolled-out to hundreds of patrol vehicles to match the scale of demand as electric vehicle ownership grows in the coming years.

Currently the RAC has fitted its first six Ford Transit Custom patrol vans equipped with the new EV generators which are powered by an additional alternator fitted to each van. They will take to the roads in June in London, Birmingham and Manchester and will then rolled-out to areas with high call-outs.

 

Original

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 safely 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.

 

No to tow

EVs present a particular challenge as many cannot be towed normally and ideally should be transported with all wheels off the ground which usually requires a flat-bed vehicle. So, if an electric car runs out of charge in a busy urban location, such as a red route in London or even just a narrow road, it can’t be towed to the nearest charge point – and is likely to cause traffic jams and frustration.

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."

 

 

Fleet range

Millward continued: “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 to help address the anxiety some potential EV buyers have about the current charging infrastructure and vehicle range."

 

Pod Point

Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point CEO and Founder, said: “The number of EVs on UK roads is increasing exponentially and it’s great to see the RAC adapting its patrol vehicles accordingly. Range anxiety is a common phenomenon, particularly among those new to EVs, so this mobile charger will help reassure drivers that there is help available in the event that they do run out of charge.”

Picture: A lightweight charger to deliver a journey-saving boost to electric vehicles will be fitted to more and more RAC patrol vehicles.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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