The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC WA) is trialling an all-electric roadside assistance patrol vehicle that will provide electric vehicle (EV) owners with emergency roadside charging.
“While we are seeing increasing interest in EVs across WA, one of the biggest concerns continues to be access to charging infrastructure,” said RAC WA’s general manager of external relations, Will Golsby.
“The new electric roadside assistance van is equipped with a mobile charger that can top-up an EV battery that’s gone flat.
“This trial will help us understand the realities of using fully electric vehicles as part of our roadside assistance fleet, so we can start planning to add more in the years to come.”
The patrol vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz eVito with an onboard 7kW charger, which RAC WA says will be able to provide 15 per cent of EV charge in around 20 minutes.
The service is available for all roadside assistance members who reside in metro areas as part of their existing cover.
The emergency charger is powered by a lithium battery module which RAC WA told CarExpert will be able to provide top-ups to three or four EVs before needing a recharge itself.
The trial is expected to last six months with the possibility of being extended by a further six months.
RAC WA will wait to confirm its findings from the trial before making any additions to its EV fleet.
Power in the eVito van comes from a front-mounted electric motor making 85kW of power and 360Nm of torque. It uses a 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
RAC WA joins the RACV, NRMA and RACQ in offering emergency electric vehicle charging to its members.