The RAC is to add emergency EV charging facilities to more than 300 of its vans as part of a new partnership.
The “fuel cans for electric cars” will allow roadside crews to revive batteries in EVs which have run out of charge, rather than recovering the vehicles on a flatbed lorry.
The shoe box-sized units have been developed by specialist engineering firm Original ADS in conjunction with the RAC to offer improved support to the growing number of EV drivers. The 5kW chargers allow crews to add enough charge to get an EV to the next working charging point. Work is currently underway to develop a faster 7.5.kW unit.
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Units will be fitted to 200 vans by the end of 2021 under the exclusive deal between Original ADS and the RAC, with a further 120 installed in 2022.
RAC chief operations director James Knight said: “We were very proud to be the first breakdown company to launch a solution at scale to help out-of-charge EV drivers, and we’re even more delighted to be the only roadside assistance company in the UK that can use this pioneering British-designed technology.
“It means within minutes of arriving with one of our EV customers, our expert patrols can plug in and get the car topped up enough to be driven a short distance home or to a nearby chargepoint. We believe it’s faster, more efficient and better for the planet than having to send a big flatbed recovery vehicle or a van full of batteries.”
Original ADS commercial director Lauren Saxton said: “We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the RAC on developing a truly world-leading lightweight and compact charging unit for flat or severely depleted electric vehicles.
“Knowing help is easily at hand in the event of running out of charge will bring important peace of mind to drivers to make the switch to electric. In short, we believe it will help to ensure ‘range anxiety’ becomes a thing of the past.”