It’s a question that often comes up amongst the EV-curious: what happens if an electric car runs out of charge?
It’s not as simple as getting along to the petrol station to fill an empty jerry can, but motorists’ association RACQ has revealed it has another answer: on-board mobile electric car chargers.
In an article shared in January, the RACQ outlined how it has added the mobile EV chargers to three new tow trucks in Brisbane.
The move is in line with the forward-thinking attitude that the Queensland government and its cities have towards zero emissions transport.
Not only is Queensland the home of the longest intrastate EV charging network (also partly funded by the RACQ), in January the City of Gold Coast announced it had opened its first 75kW scalable EV charger of ten planned sites, made by Brisbane’s own global EV charging solution provider Tritium.
RACQ head of public policy Rebecca Michael said that with more electric vehicle models coming onto the Australian market in 2021, the time is ripe to ensure that RACQ tow trucks can assist all types of vehicles.
“In recent years, it’s been pretty expensive to buy an EV, but in the next year we’ll have the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, the Nissan Leaf e+ and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 coming out, all priced under $65,000,” said Michael in a statement.
“It’s really exciting the way the technology is going. Not only have we partnered with the State Government to deliver Queensland’s EV Super Highway stretching from Coolangatta to Cairns, we now have our mobile and trickle chargers in our Brisbane fleet to help people out when they come unstuck at the last minute.”
The on-board chargers sit atop Hiuno 500 standard cab FD1124 trucks, and can be used to charge an EV either on the roadside, or while being transported.
RACQ patrol’s Howard Strasser said the new mobile chargers can help get an EV driver back on the road with 30 minutes, or will be transported to the nearest RACQ charger to add more driving range if needed.
“It’s going to be a game-changer because people run out of charge just like they run out of fuel, the difference is, you can’t just put $5 worth of fuel in to get it on the road, you need a charger,” Strasser said.
The new trucks also have an improved loading angle, as well as exterior variable safety message boards and a full HD multi camera CCTV system.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.