One in five RAC patrol vans to have EV charging capability by end-2022
One in every five RAC patrol vans will be able to give electric vehicles an emergency roadside boost by the end of 2022 – supporting fleets and drivers switching to EVs.
Billed as the modern-day equivalent of a fuel can for electric cars, the RAC’s EV Boost technology first went live in April 2019 as a 3.5kW charger, developed with specialist engineering company Original ADS.
Two years on and the duo have developed a new 5kW unit capable of faster charging, speeding up the time it takes to revive a ‘flat’ – or seriously depleted – EV at the roadside. This enables the EV to get to the nearest working charge point, or home, rather than having to be picked up and recovered on a flatbed truck.
Development work is also underway to finalise a 7.5kW charger – expected to offer the best possible balance of cost, efficiency and charging time at the roadside.
Under a new exclusivity agreement, the EV Boost units will be fitted to dozens more RAC patrol vans in the coming months. The RAC plans to have 200 vans equipped to boost out-of-charge EVs by the end of 2021, with a further 120 coming online in 2022 – meaning one in every five RAC patrol vans will be able to give electric vehicles an emergency roadside boost.
RAC chief operations director James Knight added: “If a customer breaks down in an EV for another reason our patrols have more unique equipment in their vans to help. If they can’t fix the fault there and then, they can tow it themselves with our All-Wheels-Up recovery system meaning there’s no need to wait for a tow truck. It’s like having a flatbed in the back of an RAC van.
“These two breakthrough RAC innovations mean we’re ideally placed to be able to help any EV driver, whatever the problem, just at the time the electric car market begins to accelerate at an unprecedented pace. We believe these roadside capabilities will go a long way towards reassuring drivers who are keen to ‘go electric’ that that we’ve got them covered should they run out of charge or be unlucky enough to reach an out-of-order charge point. They also demonstrate to our car manufacturer partners and fleet operators just how serious the RAC is about supporting the switch to an all-electric future.”