KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — We’ve all seen it before: A car on the side of the road.
Up the road, a driver walking back to the car with a gas can in their hand.
But what if you’re stranded because your electric vehicle ran out of power? American Automobile Association of Michigan has a solution.
AAA’s first-ever Mobile Electric Charging Vehicle Station is now ready to hit the roads of West Michigan. It’s a little security for EV drivers who might forget to check their charge.
“If for some reason they don’t plan ahead. They find themselves just short of their destination. AAA can come save them,” said AAA Senior Fleet Manager Steve Giffel.
The station is essentially a utility truck with a bed-mounted generator that can plug into an EV on the side of the road.
“Every manufacturer is a little bit different but you can expect probably about the same as 1 to 2 gallons of gas out of the EV charge. It’s about 45 minutes of charge, will give you 25 to 30 minutes, give or take,” said Giffel.
AAA West Michigan is the first office in the state to get the mobile charging unit as part of a pilot program.
So far, business is slow, according to Giffel. But some analysts predict sales of battery-powered electric vehicles, estimated at about 6.3 million last year, will grow to nearly 27 million by 2030.
“There’s going to be a huge need for it. I mean, people run out of gas. They’re going to run out of charge,” said Giffel.
The service is available to AAA members at no extra cost. If you’re not a member, they’ll still respond, but you’ll have to agree to sign up as a member.
“There may be some upfront costs associated with that. But yes, you can still sign up,” said Giffel.
One irony: The Mobile Charging Vehicle is powered by gasoline.
Giffel says there are plans in the future to replace the current unit with an EV.