RAC deal will see hundreds more mobile EV charging vans on the road

The RAC has signed an exclusivity agreement with the British manufacturer of its EV Boost technology, Original ADS.

The RAC worked with engineering company Original ADS to design and develop the lightweight and compact van-mounted charger capable of getting EVs with a flat battery to the nearest working chargepoint rather than having to be picked up and recovered on a flatbed truck.

The deal, which means the RAC is now the only breakdown company in the UK able to assist customers with this technology, will see dozens more RAC patrol vans fitted with EV Boost units in the coming months, giving more drivers the confidence to make the switch to electric.

RAC EV Boost was launched as a 3.5kW charger in April 2019. Now with two years of use in the field, the RAC and Original ADS have succeeded in producing a new 5kW unit capable of faster charging, speeding up the time it takes to revive a flat – or seriously depleted – EV at the roadside.

Development work is also underway to perfect the 7.5kW charger which the RAC and Original ADS believe will offer the best possible balance of cost, efficiency and charging time at the roadside.

As a result of the exclusivity agreement the RAC plans to have 200 vans equipped to boost out-of-charge EVs by the end of 2021, with a further 120 coming online in 2022 – meaning one in every five RAC patrols vans will be able to give electric vehicles an emergency roadside boost.

RAC chief operations director, James Knight, said: “We were very proud to be the first breakdown company to launch a solution at scale to help out-of-charge EV drivers, and we’re even more delighted to be the only roadside assistance company in the UK that can use this pioneering British-designed technology.

“We believe these roadside capabilities will go a long way towards reassuring drivers who are keen to ‘go electric’ that that we’ve got them covered should they run out of charge or be unlucky enough to reach an out-of-order charge point. They also demonstrate to our car manufacturer partners and fleet operators just how serious the RAC is about supporting the switch to an all-electric future.”

Original ADS commercial director, Lauren Saxton, said: “We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the RAC on developing a truly world-leading lightweight and compact charging unit for flat or severely depleted electric vehicles.

“We have forged a brilliantly collaborative partnership which we hope will provide vital stimulation to the take-up of EVs, as knowing help is easily at hand in the event of running out of charge will bring important peace of mind to drivers to make the switch to electric. In short, we believe it will help to ensure ‘range anxiety’ becomes a thing of the past.”

The RAC is to use this new electric breakdown technology as the official breakdown and recovery partner for the first EV rally to take place in England. The London to Brighton EV Rally will start on the banks of the River Thames and cover over 58 miles before finishing in Brighton on Sunday 18 July.

The event, which is organised by Brighton-based bus company, The Big Lemon, and proudly sponsored by Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity EDF, currently has 27 entries including a Sinclair C5, Jaguar i-Pace and Renault Twizy, and a self-build former chicken coup.

Image: RAC

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