Stranded EV? Help Is Near. Well, Not Quite ...
„When you run out of battery with your EV, no AAA will help you – except with a tow.”
This line is a favorite weapon in the low-level propaganda war between gas and electric. Now Nissan, purveyor of the Leaf, goes on the counter-attack. Nissan deployed its first roadside service vehicle equipped with a charger to assist EVs that ran out of juice.
So far, it’s a trial only, together with the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), Japan’s counterpart of the AAA. The trial service commences on June 7, 2011.
JAF will deploy the roadside service vehicle with the charger from its Kanagawa branch office and will use it on a trial basis as part of its service menu from fiscal year 2011.
There are other precautions that need to be taken. Masakazu Kume, Executive Director of the JAF said: “We have already prepared insulated gloves and goggles for our service vehicle staff to assist EVs. We will actively respond to requests from EV motorists as more and more EVs hit the road.”
Remember: This is only a test. There is only one vehicle in Japan, in Kanagawa, outside of Tokyo. AAA doesn’t have such a truck. So keep watching that gauge.
For this to make practical sense, that truck is going to have to be equipped with one of the 440v fast chargers. Something that an hour's worth of charge would let you get straight home. And yeah, I don't get the EV hate, either. There's a lot of people out there who are really resistant to any kind of change, obviously.
I'm a Leaf fan, but that picture is not very compelling for EVs.
I would guess that it would be faster and cheaper to simply tow the car to the nearest charging station or home.
I think EVs running out of juice will be relatively rare, not much more frequent than gas cars running out of gas, which does happen. EV drivers are acutely aware of their remaining range, and take that into consideration, along with nearby recharging points and distance to home. Furthermore, as with drivers whose gas cars are running on fumes, EV drivers are at least likely to try to get themselves off of a freeway or other crowded street if they're about to run out, so I don't think you'll see them clogging up freeways either.