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AAA Announces EV-Charging Truck Program

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On: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Weiss


AAA Announces EV-Charging Truck Program

Last month, the Nissan Leaf officially reached 3,894 U.S. sales. And yet, Nissan hasn't seen fit to send out a mobile charging station the way it did in Japan. So the staple of American motoring, traveling, and on-highway repairs is officially stepping in. AAA debuted the first mobile charging station in North America at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition last week.

Marshall L. Doney, AAA Automotive Vice President, explains: "As the electric vehicle market continues to emerge, AAA is ready to help alleviate some 'range anxiety' with the ability to provide a charge to electric vehicles on the roadside that gets drivers back on the go quickly."

AAA's truck is capable of providing AAA members with on-site Level 2 240-Volt AC and Level 3 DC charging. It will provide about 10 to 15 minutes of charging, allowing the driver to travel between three and 15 miles.

The organization will launch trucks in six initial markets beginning later this summer and fall as a pilot. Portland (Ore.), Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville (Tenn.), and the Tampa Bay area will be the first areas to get the charging trucks.

Trucks in different markets will test different charging technologies. Some, like the initial truck shown at the conference, will use a removable lithium-ion battery charger and others will use alternative-fuel generators, allowing AAA to assess the effectiveness of different methods.

In addition to EV charging, the trucks will be capable of more traditional assistance like battery jumping, tire repair, and lockout service. Essentially, AAA will just add electric charging to its repair capabilities.

As to additional markets, John Nielsen, AAA Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information, said during the news conference: "While these six areas are part of the initial pilot program, we've had tremendous interest from AAA clubs across the country to offer this service to their members, and we anticipate expanding the program to additional areas in the months following initial deployment."




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