Club Assist, an Australian company that partners with more than 70 automotive club organizations around the world, launched a new mobile EVSE unit at the 2011 Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference in Washington, D.C. this week. Al Bradshaw, vice president of product and technical development doesn't want to speculate on just how many Leaf owners might need his unit:
Being a Level 2 unit, the portable EVSE can generate about 5 kW – which should be about what most of today's EV's can take as their maximum AC charging rate using the Level 2 system. But the next-generation system that Club Assist is working on is even faster (and cleaner!). Using a lithium-ion battery and DC/DC connection using the CHADEMO protocol, the system should offer a five- or ten-minute top up for anyone stuck at the roadside. Club Assist believes that their portable unit is a much better solution than towing the EV from the roadside, just remember to not stop on the left hand shoulder if you need a charge. Bradshaw said:
It's really more about peace of mind. Our customers, the Auto Clubs, want to show their members that they are supporting EVs. Whatever roadside help those customers need, we want to provide it.
Hopefully we're not going to see too many of these units out in use any time soon, but for those early adopter EV owners out there, it's nice to know that the auto clubs are moving with the times.
We need to consider safety as the top priority. We can't be stuck on the left hand side of the road for 20 minutes causing a gawker slowdown, so we'll probably only use it on the right-hand side emergency lanes. If the car's stuck on the left, we'll send a tow truck.