Bloomberg reports that AAA is planning to deploy fleets of fast-charging trucks to better serve auto club members that drive electric vehicles. Similar to the jump starting services AAA already offers, these trucks will be capable of recharging EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster should owners run out of juice and find themselves stranded on the side of the road.
AAA’s decision to roll out charging trucks mirrors that of its Japanese equivalent, the Japan Automobile Federation. Earlier this month, the JAF announced a partnership with Nissan to build, test, and deploy a fleet of similar trucks designed with a similar purpose.
Speaking to Bloomberg, AAA spokesperson Christie Hyde said that the Florida-based organization will begin testing the trucks in August. According to Hyde, the initial test group will consist of six “mobile charging units,” testing in states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. Hyde declined to give specifics on the cost of the units and who will supply them, however, she did state that AAA will test chargers from multiple suppliers.
With a couple EV models already on the market and more on the way, automakers’ increasing interest in electric vehicles has prompted the development of a charging infrastructure. Companies such as General Electric are developing roadside charging stations, while power companies are beginning to upgrade to smart grids – installing new meters and transformers to help ensure people can recharge their vehicles at home.
AAA is also preparing itself for the arrival of more electric cars on the road. “We know electric vehicles are coming and we’ve got to be ready for them,” said Hyde. This first batch of charging trucks is part of that plan to get ready. Hyde says that AAA will debut its first mobile charging unit at an electric vehicle conference in Raleigh, NC, next month.