More than a decade after launching a mobile EV charging pilot program, AAA is launching a second, larger-scale program that will offer mobile charging to members in 14 U.S. metropolitan areas.
The new pilot program offers mobile charging for free to AAA members in the following cities: San Francisco; Indianapolis; Philadelphia; Orlando; Nashville; Charlotte; Denver; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Avon, Peabody, and West Springfield, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and Bend and Portland, Oregon.
"As part of this evaluation, AAA will also explore various mobile charging methods to deliver the best experience to its members," the organization said in a statement. AAA told Green Car Reports that it's using a range of providers in this rollout, and it varies depending on the city as it works to finalize those partnerships.
AAA mobile EV charging availability
While not named as one of the providers, one company that is offering such mobile charging services is SparkCharge. The company first deployed its "charging as a service" model that allows EV drivers to order extra energy through an app, in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose. In August it announced an expansion to more surrounding communities following the closing of a $7 million funding round.
It has indeed been more than a decade since AAA first tested roadside charging for EVs. The original 2010 pilot included five prototype mobile-charging vehicles, which have now been retired. Lessons learned from them have informed this new pilot program, according to AAA.
AAA TripTik Planner showing EV charging stations
As we learned when we caught up with AAA in 2016, the service was rarely being used, though—and EV drivers typically had more of a handle on range than earlier range anxiety might have suggested. More recently, automakers, and even some growing charging networks, have seen that these solutions help with range anxiety, though.
In addition to mobile charging, EV charging options are being integrated with AAA's trip-planning tools. It said EV-specific features will soon be added to the newly launched Trip Canvas road-trip planner, and charging stations are already listed alongside gas stations in the TripTik Travel Planner, which offers point-to-point directions to specific spots. AAA first added EV charging to its map services in 2012.