PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – AAA is expanding its capabilities and membership benefits by providing more services for electric vehicle drivers with the addition of a mobile charging truck in Bend, the organization said Thursday.
AAA said it is offering more roadside solutions for EV drivers and investing in research to better understand electric vehicle functionality and consumer perceptions.
Portland and now Bend are two Oregon markets where AAA provides mobile charging for EVs on the roadside. AAA Oregon/Idaho first launched this service as part of AAA’s first pilot program back in 2011, when Portland was one of only six cities across the country where mobile EV charging was offered.
The AAA service trucks with mobile electric vehicle charging capability provide a Level 2 charge and can typically provide about 10 to 14 miles of range in about 30 minutes so that EV drivers can get home or to a charging station.
“AAA members know that we are more than just roadside assistance. AAA is also committed to doing research and educating our members and the general public about transportation options such as electric vehicles. As automakers continue to expand their EV offerings, we will continue to provide honest and unbiased information about EV performance and provide service for all the types of vehicles that our members are driving,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
The AAA mobile EV charging program is offered in these 14 cities:
Grand Rapids, MI
San Francisco, CA
West Springfield, MA
“AAA was the first motor club in North America to offer a roadside assistance truck with the capability to charge electric vehicles. We’ve been a leader in helping drivers for more than a century and expanding our EV service continues that tradition,” adds Dodds. “Range anxiety has been a top barrier between consumers and wider EV adoption. AAA can help ease this anxiety with specialized trucks equipped with mobile electric vehicle chargers that provide enough range to get drivers home or to the nearest charging station.”
AAA’s roadside EV charging provides up to a 30-minute Level 2 charge using the Blink IQ-200-M mobile charging unit with the standard J1772 plug for 10 or more miles of charge to your EV (depending on the type of vehicle). AAA now has the ability to charge the majority of electric vehicles, including electric motorcycles, with this standard plug type. Tesla vehicles can also be charged with the Tesla J1772 adapter.
The mobile electric vehicle charging truck is very similar to AAA’s other light services vehicles. The truck is equipped to allow AAA’s technicians to provide traditional AAA Roadside Assistance capabilities to all motorists, such as battery testing and replacements, jump starts, tire changes and fuel delivery.
The mobile EV charging service is provided at no additional cost to AAA members. AAA will continue to assess the demand for mobile electric vehicle charging and will add additional locations. As part of this evaluation, AAA will also explore various mobile charging methods to deliver the best experience to its members.
The new phase of mobile electric charging solutions is the second pilot of its kind that AAA has brought to the marketplace. Portland was one of the original test cities in the first pilot, launched a decade ago, to explore a few prototype technologies that could be used to charge EVs at the roadside. After 10 years of service, all of the original prototype vehicles were retired. AAA took all the information from that pilot project to develop this latest iteration.
Oregon ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to plug-in vehicles per capita. As of August 2022, Oregon had 56,375 registered electric vehicles. By November 2022, there were 2,055 public chargers in 852 Locations. Find out more at https://goelectric.oregon.gov/
EV Charging at AAA branch offices
Level II Electric Vehicle charging stations, provided by ChargePoint, are available at the following AAA Service Centers: Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Clackamas, Salem, Eugene, Bend, Medford, and Boise. EV charging stations are accessible to all electric vehicle drivers through the ChargePoint app. AAA members get two complimentary hours of charging for their electric vehicles.
Road Trip Planning with AAA
AAA has digital tools to help with planning road trips – for gas-powered or electric vehicles. They can be used to locate charging stations, save favorite or frequent trips for future travel, and discover extensive destination information including points of interest.
TripTik: The AAA TripTik Travel Planner is a free point-to-point directions tool that travelers can use to map their routes, specifically plotting the location of electric vehicle charging (or gas) stations. Charging stations are currently displayed under fuel and identifiable with this icon. Travelers see the level of charging available and can zero in on station details. AAA is regularly adding new features and soon users will have the ability to create curated road trips with electric charging stations and other content.
TripTik for Portland area showing EV charging stations:
Here’s a TourBook listing for a Bend hotel with EV charging:
Trip Canvas: A brand new digital planning tool, Trip Canvas provides new ways for travelers to dream, plan, and share future road trips by selecting where and when they want to go. This tool will soon have many integrated features designed with electric vehicle drivers in mind.
AAA Trusted and Tested, Research that Charges Forward
Electric vehicles are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and can reduce dependence on imported oil because they use domestically produced energy. EVs often have zippy performance and handle similarly to their gas-powered counterparts. While EVs usually have a higher sticker price than similar gas-powered vehicles, they cost less to maintain and electricity costs are usually cheaper than fuel.
To help educate the public, AAA conducts research surrounding electric vehicles including consumer sentiment surveys, testing to determine factors impacting electric vehicle range, the true cost of electric vehicle ownership, and a survey on consumers’ experience with going electric. To see the full body of research, visit AAA Newsroom.
AAA Car Guide
AAA also provides consumer education pieces such as the AAA Car Guide which helps car buyers understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs. This work began over a decade ago with the first edition of what was then known as the AAA Green Car Guide, intended to help consumers navigate the electric vehicle marketplace. While the parameters of the Guide have evolved to include things like driver assistance features, interestingly many of the top-rated vehicles are also electric.
Cash-Back Rewards for EV Charging
AAA is proud to offer AAA Visa Signature credit cards designed to reward consumers for everyday living. This includes cash-back rewards for electric vehicle charging.
What AAA Thinks
“Electric vehicles are the future of transportation,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “As the advancements of models and range continue to improve, they become an even more viable option for many people.”
Consumers interested in electric vehicles should research and learn as much as possible about these types of cars. AAA also recommends drivers visit a dealership, test drive an electric vehicle and ask as many questions as possible of the dealer and other electric vehicle owners. It is also important to understand charging options available at home to ensure consumers can take full advantage of electric vehicle technology with maximum convenience.
Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 63 million members across North America, including over 56 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.