RAC launches mobile electric vehicle charging unit

Breakdown service provider RAC is launching its first mobile electric charging system which can provide a stranded electric vehicle (EV) with enough power to travel 15 miles in less than half an hour of charging.

Trialling the equipment in Birmingham, due to the city’s “well-established progressive EV record and charging infrastructure”, the 5kW charging units will be capable of completely recharging an electric vehicle’s battery in less than four hours. However, its function is to give the vehicle a “quick charge to get it going again”.

The RAC says the launch is the result of the UK’s expanding EV market which now consists of more than 9,000 vehicles.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK electric car sales are experiencing rapid take-up with 265% year-on-year growth in pure electric vehicles sales in the first three months of 2014.

RAC spokesman Tim Hartles said: “As the electric vehicle market develops, the need for a mobile transportable energy source is becoming more important, not only to reduce ‘range anxiety’, but also to provide temporary cost-effective power for electric cars.

“Whether it’s at the side of a road in an emergency, or in a car showroom, portable power that is flexible, available and mobile is very much in demand so we wanted to invest in the required technology to make sure the RAC was completely ready to meet this need,” added Hartles.

While the Government has not set a target for electric vehicles the Committee on Climate Change has recommended aiming for 1.7 million EVs as a step towards achieving the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets.

In January, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that the UK Government will invest more than £9m to boost the number of charging points for electric cars.

Leigh Stringer

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