Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
AAA's truck that can deliver a fifteen-minute roadside jolt to electric car drivers in the Seattle area.
Don't want to end up like New York Times reporter John Broder, freezing to save power in your electric car? Sign up for AAA.
The American Automobile Association has never been the most progressive organization, but they seem to be anticipating the growing market for electric vehicles. Yesterday AAA-Washington announced its first "PTO driven level-3 roadside charging unit," a truck that can deliver a fifteen-minute roadside jolt to electric car drivers in the Seattle area.
What does that jargon mean? Well, AAA already has a few mobile charging vehicles deployed in Oregon and California, but this truck, pictured above, isn't just a pick-up with a gas-powered generator in the bed. Its electric power is produced by the "power takeoff" of the truck's engine.
Ten to fifteen minutes of charge, according to the AAA press release, will allow a vehicle to drive "three to 15 miles" to a charging station (instead of being towed there). That's a pretty big range, but the Seattle region has one of the U.S.'s best power networks for EVs -- there are over a hundred in downtown Seattle alone.
Image courtesy of AAA.