Six vans will be equipped with the chargers and will be rolled out in June
In readiness for the UK’s expected electric vehicle boom, the RAC has developed its EV Boost system – the first lightweight mobile EV-charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost from one of its standard orange roadside rescue vans.
The bespoke solution 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.
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.
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.
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.”