RAC to recover out-of-power EVs at roadside

RAC has developed a lightweight mobile EV-charger capable of reviving out-of-charge cars from one of its standard roadside rescue vans.

The EV Boost system works with all Type 1 and 2 connections, and can be rolled-out to hundreds of patrol vehicles ensuring the RAC can match the scale of demand as EV ownership grows in the coming years.

RAC’s 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.”

The first six Ford Transit Custom patrol vans equipped with the new EV generators will take to the roads in June in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and will be rolled-out to areas with high call-outs.

“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,” said Millward.

“Other solutions that are available require valuable van space to be taken up by heavy portable chargers that negatively affect fuel economy and also need to be recharged after use.

“Our on-demand solution means that the power is always available when needed.”

Developed by the RAC’s technical experts in partnership with automotive engineering firm Original, it 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.

This solution removes the issue of using a flat-bed vehicle to tow the EV to the nearest charge, potentially causing traffic jams.

Zap-Map’s co-founder Melanie Shufflebotham said: “It’s great to see the RAC leading the way and introducing this new mobile EV charging system to its fleet of vans.

“Whilst the UK public charging network already has over 14,000 public charge points and is growing at a rapid rate, this service will give electric car drivers additional confidence as they plan longer electric journeys.”

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