AAA Rolls Out Pilot Program to Meet Needs of Electric Vehicle Motorists
The association introduced a mobile charging solution in 14 metropolitan areas.
ORLANDO, Fla. — AAA is widening its services to reach electric vehicle (EV) motorists, 10 years after it first began exploring the space.
The association is creating roadside solutions geared toward EV owners. The move comes more than a decade after AAA launched a mobile charging pilot for electric vehicles in select markets.
According to AAA, it also continues to invest in research related to EVs to understand consumer opinion, vehicle functionality and other areas of interest. As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, as indicated by a recent AAA study, AAA said it is prepared to service any vehicle type, whether electric or gas.
"If you're a AAA member, you already know that we're more than just roadside assistance service," said Cliff Ruud, AAA's managing director of automotive solutions. "We're also committed to supporting our members through big purchase decisions — like buying an electric vehicle. As automakers continue to incorporate advanced styling and the latest innovative technology into electric vehicles, we are committed to learning, developing and servicing the vehicles our members are driving."
As part of its deeper dive into the EV arena, AAA rolled out a new phase of mobile electric charging solutions in 14 markets across the country. This is the second pilot of its kind that AAA has brought to the marketplace in the last decade.
The purpose of the first pilot, launched in 2010, was to explore a few prototype technologies that could be used to charge EVs at the roadside. After 10 years of service, all the original prototype vehicles were retired. AAA took learnings from that pilot to inform this next iteration, the association explained.
Noting that range anxiety is the top barrier between consumers and wider EV adoption, AAA is piloting the next phase of its EV charging program in the following cities:
Grand Rapids, Mich.
West Springfield, Mass.
The service is provided to AAA members at no additional charge, and the association said it will continue to assess the demand for mobile EV charging and will add locations as needed.
As part of this evaluation, it will also explore various mobile charging methods to deliver the best experience to its members.
In addition to the mobile charging program, AAA is developing resources to inform its roadside assistance teams or those in the industry of the newest updates in EV technology and systems; and it launched publicly available digital tools to help with planning road trips — for gas-powered or electric vehicles. They can be used to locate charging stations, save favorite or frequent trips for future travel, and discover extensive destination information, including points of interest.
AAA is also installing charging stations at select branch office locations to offer members another easy and convenient charging option.
"Electric vehicles are the future of transportation," said Greg Brannon, AAA's director of automotive engineering. "As the advancements of models and range continue to improve, they become an even more viable option for many people."