Could AAA Be the Cure for EV Range Anxiety?

January 4th, 2012

AAA electric vehicle charging truck

Yesterday the always intellectual jgoods again made his case for the abolition of tax credits for electric cars and alternative fuels. He’s right about that. He’s also right that the best way to spur the growth of alternate fuel is with higher gas prices.

That’s not what I’m writing about today, though.

For EVs to work in this world they have to, you know, work. Forget tax credits and gas prices, people have to be able to get in their cars, drive 300-400 miles, stop for 10 minutes to refuel, whether with electrons or fossilized dinosaurs, and get back on the road.

In gas-powered cars, there’s no excuse for running out of fuel, because the next filling station is always close. In EVs, range anxiety is a huge issue, so much so that the few on U.S. roads are used as city commuters and rarely venture more than 10 miles from home. Any further and there’s a serious risk of ending up on the side of a highway watching gas-powered brethren happily motor toward home.

Soon, stranded EV drivers will be able to call the stalwart of roadside assistance, AAA, for help and a quick recharge.

Marshall Doney, AAA Automotive Vice President, says,

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 new mobile charging trucks will be able to provide 15 minutes of charge, which should give EVs 3 to 15 miles of range, which, in all honesty, will probably just leave motorists stranded 3 to 15 miles farther down the road. The intent, of course, is to get the driver to the next charging station, but last I checked, those are still more than 15 miles apart.

The new service, launching in six metro areas this summer, is on the right track, but until recharging an EV is as easy and fast as refueling an internal combustion car, electric cars will remain in limited short-range commuter service only.

Does AAA’s charging service make you any more likely to consider making the jump to an EV?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    January 4th, 2012 at 21:30 | #1

    Well, your premise that EV’s need to match the range of gas-powered cars for most drivers is a bit silly. When was the last time you hopped in your gas-powered car and drove 400 miles? I don’t think that’s a common event for most drivers.
    The only thing keeping me from buying an EV is the rediculous price. I think EV’s for most households would be a secondary car used for short trips, not something to pile the whole family into to pull the boat out to the country for a day out. AAA’s EV truck is a logical addition that will allow them to extend emergency road service to EV owners.

  2. January 4th, 2012 at 11:49 | #2

    here is our new monthly video focusing on how to beat this range anxiety:
    http://ecomobility.tv/2012/01/03/can-plug-place/

    hope you’ll enjoy those innovations!

    Lionel

  1. February 10th, 2012 at 05:02 | #1