3 Roadside Assistance for EVs

Roadside assistance services help thousands of drivers every year with various mechanical and towing solutions. But most of these services are for vehicles with a conventional combustion engine.

So, what happens if your electric vehicle (EV) fails?

Fortunately, there are some solutions. While not as useful as normal vehicle assistance services, their features and plans are tailored to the needs of stranded EV drivers.

What are these solutions and how do they differ from normal roadside assistance services?

How does roadside assistance differ for electric and normal vehicles?

Roadside assistance usually provides starting assistance, fueling and towing services for gas-powered and hybrid vehicles. But coverage is insufficient for vehicles that run entirely on electricity.

For starters, it makes no sense for recovery vehicles to transport heavy batteries and help stranded drivers with dead EV batteries.

Second, the functionality of motors and the lack of a true neutral gear in an electric car make towing a risky solution. As a result, most automakers recommend loading the EV onto a truck to avoid damage to the vehicle.

3 Roadside Assistance for EVs

Many roadside assistance services that operate gas vehicles still provide mechanical first aid, tire replacement and exclusion services to members who drive electric vehicles. But problems arise when the battery is low or undercharged in an EV.

While there are many solutions to the “no fuel” problem in combustion engine vehicles, there is no equivalent solution for EVs.

So, if your EV breaks down while traveling in the middle of nowhere, what are your options for EV roadside assistance?

1. AAA Roadside Assistance

The American Automobile Association, or AAA, is a membership-based service that provides roadside assistance and mobile charging solutions for electric vehicles. It is one of the largest roadside assistance services, with a fleet of 63,000 tow and service trucks in the US and Canada.

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Last year, AAA began adding the SparkCharge Roadie to its fleet as a portable charging solution for EVs. SparkCharge is the first company to offer a “charge-as-a-service” solution to EV owners. It uses a modular unit made up of battery modules with lithium-ion cells. Stacked, the battery modules can provide a battery charge of approximately one mile per minute.

AAA offers three plans with membership fees ranging from $59.99 to $119.99 per year.

  • Classic subscription: The AAA Classic plan covers starting a battery, changing tires, locksmith service for up to $50, and up to five miles of standard towing service. The Classic plan is available for $59.99 per year.
  • Plus subscription: Starting at $94.99 per year, the Plus plan includes all the features of the Classic plan with added benefits. Members get up to 100 miles of free towage, interruption, and baggage coverage within the US, Mexico and Canada.
  • Premier Coverage Plan: The Premier plan offers the highest coverage and is ideal for frequent travelers. Membership costs $119.99 per year and includes all the features and benefits of the Classic and Plus plans. Additional benefits include a free one-day rental car service and a free home lockout service.

2. RAC Roadside Assistance

The Royal Automobile Club, or RAC for short, is one of the largest roadside assistance services in the UK and Australia. The company is constantly making efforts to cover electric and hybrid vehicles under its roadside assistance plans.

Most RAC recovery vehicles are now equipped with EV Boost to top up damaged EVs. The EV Boost system uses a diesel engine and generator to produce electricity that can be supplied to the EV through a Type 1 or Type 2 connection.

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The RAC can currently deliver approximately 14 miles of battery charge per hour using the 3.5 kW mobile chargers. However, it plans to launch a new 7.5 kW EV Boost charger by the end of 2022, with a range of approximately 25 miles per hour.

RAC offers three plans and additional features for a premium.

  • Basic plan: It is the cheapest breakdown cover, including roadside assistance and a limited number of calls. The RAC will repair your car on the spot if you are more than ¼ mile from your home on the basic plan. It also offers recovery of up to 10 miles to a garage or other destination. You can call up to 5 times a year unless you upgrade.
  • Standard subscription: The standard subscription contains all the options of the basic subscription and the help at home. You can request RAC’s assistance service as many times as you like on the standard plan.
  • Ultimate plan: In addition to the features in the basic and standard plans, the final plan covers unlimited pulls and callouts per year. You will also get a national salvage service that will transport you and your passengers to any destination in the UK.

RCA also has custom 4×4 pickup trucks with 4-wheel trailers in the bed. These trucks can be used to salvage EVs without conventional towing.

3. Tesla Roadside Assistance

Tesla offers a free roadside assistance program, similar to AAA and RCA roadside assistance. Coverage begins when the vehicle is delivered to you and is good for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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Tesla Roadside Assistance is provided under the Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty and covers issues related to the two components. You are responsible for any roadside events unrelated to the two components or that occur after the mileage limit or time frame.

To request immediate roadside assistance from Tesla, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Tesla app home screen and select at the side of the road.
  2. Select the issue(s) for which you need help.
  3. Provide additional details regarding the request.
  4. Select Ask for help.

From Tesla’s Roadside Assistance Policy [PDF], roadside assistance can help you with breakdowns, punctures and lockouts. If you have a dead battery or can’t reach the nearest charging station, you can still ask for help; however, it is not a financially backed service.

EV Roadside Assistance: What Should You Do?

Despite the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, fear of range remains a major obstacle to their widespread adoption. In addition, while most roadside assistance programs will help you with a flat tire, lockout, or minor mechanical repair, few provide solutions for a dead EV battery.

While EV roadside assistance services offer mobile charging and other emergency mechanical repairs, we recommend planning longer journeys with EVs more carefully than with combustion engine vehicles.

Keep an eye on the estimated range of your EVs and use a route planning app to see where fast chargers are when you travel. Where you carry water, fuel and a spare fan belt in a gas car, we recommend carrying a few charging cables and adapters in your EV so that you can charge from any wall outlet if the battery is low or the power is low. battery is empty.

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