AA develops Europe’s first mobile fast charger for electric cars
Technology breakthrough comes as politicians call for further grants and reduced tax
A new development in efforts to combat “range anxiety” associated with the use of electric vehicles is to be announced on Friday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
A new AA development in efforts to combat “range anxiety” associated with the use of electric vehicles is to be announced on Friday.
The AA has developed the electric equivalent of “a gallon in a tank” – a mobile fast charger that can give stranded drivers a boost to get them back on the road.
Up to now those who run out of power in an electric vehicle need to have it taken to a charging point on the back of a lorry.
The deployment of mobile fast chargers comes as the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and Environment calls for further incentives including bigger grants for electric vehicles.
The AA commissioned the technology from Australian company Club Logistics Solutions in an attempt to address concerns of motorists about potentially running out of power in remote locations.
Although standard battery electric vehicles now come with claimed ranges of about 278km for the Hyundai Ioniq or 370km for the Nissan Leaf and up to 500km for the Tesla Model 3, Irish sales have been slow, with range anxiety said to be a major factor.
The island of Ireland has some 1,100 electric charge points according to the ESB ecars website, some 87 of which are fast chargers, which tend to be spread out along the motorways and can typically charge a car to 80 per cent in under 30 minutes.
But not all cars use the same plugs and in parts of the northwest particularly some types of chargers can be rare. In addition some counties have a dearth of fast chargers. The ESB ecars map lists just one fast charger in Co Kerry, for example. Standard chargers can take several hours to charge a car.
The first of their kind in Europe, the mobile charging units are powered directly by the AA Rescue Van as opposed to a separate generator.
On average, the AA will be able to provide an electric vehicle with approximately 15 per cent of full battery charge in just 20 minutes, allowing the motorist to then proceed to the nearest charging point.