• Jul 20th 2011 at 11:03AM
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AAA's Electric Vehicle Roadside Assistance Truck – Click above for high-res image gallery

For AAA, the powertrain you have in your car shouldn't affect your roadside assistance. If you're a member and you call for help, AAA wants to help you out. Of course, bringing a can of gasoline to your Nissan Leaf isn't going to do a whole lot, so AAA is taking the first steps to diversify its offerings.

For electric car drivers, that means that AAA's trucks will soon provide a "range anxiety solution" thanks to technology from Green Charge Networks. The new trucks, which will be rolled out in a limited pilot program over the next year, can offer all the standard AAA services as well as a bit of EV recharging. The trucks have a 4.5 kWh lithium-ion battery on board that can give a stranded electric car anywhere between 15 and three miles of power. This range is dependent on the type of charger the car has and because AAA doesn't like to sit for more than 15 minutes on the side of the road. If they can't solve the problem in that time, it's usually preferred to tow the car in (this is standard AAA practice). So, if the EV can take a DC fast charge using CHAdeMo, it can get around 15 miles of juice in a 15-minute charge. With a more common Level 2 J1772 charger, a car can get either six miles (using a 6.6 kW charger) or three miles (3.3 kW) in those same 15 minutes. The truck itself can recharge its pack from the grid or its gasoline-powered engine; the truck can also be equipped with CNG or hydraulic hybrid power for further fuel diversification.

The first six test trucks will go to work this August in Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; the Bay Area and Los Angeles, CA; Knoxville, TN; and Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL. For AAA members, there will be no added price for the EV recharge service. Dwayne Shumate, an automotive technical engineer for AAA, told AutoblogGreen that, "Our goal is to provide roadside assistance no matter what you drive. When we get to hydrogen cars, we'll do something else."


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Photos copyright ©2011 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

[Source: AAA, Green Charge Networks]
Show full PR text
INNOVATIVE NEW PRODUCT TO PROVIDE ROADSIDE CHARGING SOLUTION FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

AAA mobile electric vehicle charging, powered by Green Charge Networks

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - July 18, 2011 - AAA, North America's largest motoring and leading safety advocacy organization, will soon roll out the first of many roadside assistance vehicles capable of mobile electric vehicle charging. AAA's solution to electric vehicle owners' range anxiety is powered by Green Charge Networks - a leader in smart grid and green technology. Unveiled at the Plug In 2011 convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, this one-of-a-kind solution helps stranded electric vehicle drivers to get back on the road swiftly and safely. The lithium-ion battery onboard vehicle system provides a quick charge, allowing motorists to reach the nearest charging station for a complete refill of the battery.

"To further the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S., we took a step back to look at the bigger picture. GreenStationTM, our fixed-location stations, are an important part of the charging infrastructure needed to support the EV movement, but there was still something missing. That prompted the co- development of a mobile charging solution with AAA," stated Ron Prosser, president and CEO of Green Charge Networks.

Marshall L. Doney, vice president, AAA Automotive, adds, "EV drivers need a sense of security that someone can help when their cars run low on electrical charge. AAA's first mobile electric vehicle charging solution, powered by Green Charge Networks, is ready to come to their rescue."
The AAA mobile unit features a weatherproof and secure metal enclosure mounted in the bed of road rescue vehicles. The system displayed is powered by a removable lithium battery that provides a quick charge enough for 3 to 15 miles of driving to reach a charging location. The power management of the system is computer controlled and developed by Green Charge Networks.
"Range anxiety and running out of charge are very real issues for EV drivers. The current generation of EVs features mileage ranges that are much shorter than that of combustion-engine vehicles. Mobile electric vehicle charging is the next link in the ever-growing infrastructure supporting EV drivers around the country," added Prosser.

AAA roadside assistance trucks will be equipped with Level 2 (240 volts of alternating current) and Level 3 (up to 500 volts of direct current) chargers. Following the successful completion of the pilot program, AAA plans to expand distribution of the EV charging trucks to other areas of the country. AAA will initiate a pilot program in August with six mobile charging units, utilizing various technologies, in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Knoxville, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

"AAA has been actively working to create an environment where EV owners can trust that charging assistance is available if their vehicle becomes inoperable," stated John Nielsen, director, AAA Automotive Repair and Buying. "AAA's newest specialized roadside assistance will be delivered in the same safe and secure manner from a name known and trusted by motorists for more than a century."

About AAA
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Green Charge Networks
Green Charge Networks (GCN), a leader in smart grid and green technology, develops and operates intelligent systems to accommodate local demand for electricity under existing generation and storage capacity restraints. Working with utility companies as well as public and private sector organizations, GCN is equipping the nation with advanced technologies to reduce energy spending and achieve increased efficiency. Our technology uses existing grid infrastructure and enables value-adds such as electric vehicle (EV) charging. GCN is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with offices in San Francisco and Huntington Beach, Calif. Learn more at GreenChargeNet.com.


GREEN CHARGE NETWORKS LAUNCHES GREENSTATIONTM AT PLUG-IN 2011

Mobile Energy Storage and Management Device to Help Businesses Lower Their Energy Bills
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - July 18, 2011 -Green Charge Networks, a leader in smart grid and green technology, today announced the launch of their new GreenStationTM product offering.

GreenStationTM is an energy storage and management device operated directly by commercial facilities such as grocery and convenience stores, fast-food chains, hotels, parking garages and hotels. GreenStationTM locally stores energy during periods of low use and augments grid power with stored energy during peak demand. This avoids usage peaks that cause expensive charges on the electricity bill, while enabling value adds such as electric vehicle (EV) charging.

"While the majority of energy management companies force changes in energy usage patterns, for example by regulating store temperature remotely, GreenStationTM uses the natural highs and lows in energy usage patterns of any facility to its own benefit," said Ron Prosser, President and CEO of Green Charge Networks. "By providing demand response on previously dispersed, fixed and difficult-to-manage loads, GreenStationTM avoids demand charges that can range between $12 and $20 per kW of power. This significantly reduces the monthly electric bill."

Additionally, GreenStationTM also avoids last-mile electric grid infrastructure upgrade costs. As such, electric utilities benefit by maximizing efficiency in existing infrastructure assets and deferment of large capital expenditures. "Utilities around the country are starting to experience the effect of growing EV adoption," explains Vic Shao, CTO of Green Charge Networks. "Often, the increase in electrical load is necessitating upgrades ranging from the electrical panels to the transformer itself. Infrastructure upgrades involving utility transformers could easily exceed $20,000 for one location. With GreenStationTM, not only are these kinds of upgrades unnecessary, but EV charging becomes reality while saving money throughout the system."

In addition to storing energy during usage lows, GreenStationTM can also store energy from renewable generation, such as solar and wind. "We strongly believe in the use of green energy where possible," added Prosser. "By tying in GreenStationTM to photovoltaic systems or combined heat and power units (CHPs) we can further alleviate ever-growing demand on the grid."

GreenStationTM is offered in fixed and mobile configurations. The mobile unit is especially suited for businesses with extreme energy usage patterns such as ball parks, concert halls or movie theaters. GreenStation MobileTM is the ideal solution to provide grid support for temporary, high-demand energy needs and EV charging at any location.

Green Charge Networks designed GreenStationTM with the technical support of Con Edison of New York under a smart grid demonstration project funded by the Department of Energy.

About Green Charge Networks
Green Charge Networks (GCN), a leader in smart grid and green technology, develops and operates intelligent systems to accommodate local demand for electricity under existing generation and storage capacity restraints. Working with utility companies as well as public and private sector organizations, GCN is equipping the nation with advanced technologies to reduce energy spending and achieve increased efficiency. Our technology uses existing grid infrastructure and enables value-adds such as electric vehicle (EV) charging. GCN is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with offices in San Francisco and Huntington Beach, Calif. Learn more at GreenChargeNet.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 8 Months Ago
      It will be easier and less costly to get a roadside assistance if you drive a hydrogen fuelcell car or suv then if you drive a problematic bev (battery electric vehicule ). By insisting to protect and promote the swiss banking business obama put usa in the mud.
        letstakeawalk
        • 8 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Gorr is correct about it being easier for an FCV. If an FCV need roadside refueling, it will only take a few minutes to give it a 40-60 mile range. Much quicker than charging a battery, even DC fast-charging.
      Doug
      • 8 Months Ago
      So these are dedicated charging trucks and don't have integrated towing? How much do they cost?
        ELECTRIC4ME
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Doug
        AAA already has dedicated trucks that are similar looking to these that will help ICE cars with dead batteries. They carry a selection of batteries on board and will sell and install them when needed. They just came to my house last week...
      guyverfanboy
      • 8 Months Ago
      Interesting. I'll be on the lookout for those in my area.
      fairfireman21
      • 8 Months Ago
      Seems kind of ironic, You buy an electric car to save on gas, ut if you run out of juice you use a heavy gas powered truck to bring 3-15 miles of power. The truck will have to drive there and back using lots of gas, and in driving back the battery it is carrying is useless so lots of dead weight.
        ELECTRIC4ME
        • 8 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        Yes, this is true, but not much different than if you were to run out of gas in a Prius or any vehicle. Obviously it's best to never need such a service, but if you do screw up they'll help you out. Exactly what such "insurance" is for (and similar to accident insurance; it's best to never use it but...).
          fairfireman21
          • 8 Months Ago
          @ELECTRIC4ME
          Yes that is true but for a gas vehicle one 5 gallon gas can will get even a truck this size more than 15 miles. Plus a gas can weights much less than a large battery, so it would use less gas for hauling a gas can than batteries, it then can go back to the next gas station and be ready for the next person.
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