EV drivers in Wellington will be able to cast off worries about running out of juice with the AA launching its first mobile charging breakdown van.
A new AA Battery Service van launched at an event attended by Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter and Wellington Mayor Andy Foster on Wellington waterfront this morning is hitting the road in Wellington this week fitted with a lightweight EV charger.
In 20-25 minutes, it will enable enough charge to drive up to 10 kilometres so AA Members can get home or to a nearby charging station.
AA Battery Service General Manager Mandy Mellar said she hopes the new service, which follows similar models overseas, will help provide Wellington EV owners and would-be buyers’ peace-of-mind.
“Wellington is home to the highest number of EVs per capita, with almost 3000 registered in the region. While there’s been an increase in charging infrastructure in recent years, ‘range anxiety’ is still a deterrent for some potential buyers, and previously we’ve had no choice but to provide a tow,” she says.
The van will be available to AA Members between 7am and 11pm, 365 days of the year at no additional cost. It will also attend battery-related breakdowns of internal combustion engine vehicles. If the trial is successful, AA Battery Service will look at expanding the service to other parts of the country.
“AA Battery Service celebrated 20 years of operation earlier this year,” Mandy says. “We’ve had great feedback for years about our roadside battery replacement service, so we’re really excited to now provide this service for EV owners too.”
The AA recently joined EECA’s Gen Less campaign to show the ongoing action it is taking to live and work in more climate-friendly ways and also provide practical tips, tools and ideas for how its 1.7 million Members might do more with less.
The AA also provides AA EV Charge Finder, a platform built in collaboration with the NZ Transport Agency and other industry partners, which collects live information from safe and monitored charge points across the country to help drivers plan their journeys.
For EV charger assistance Wellington AA Members can call 0800 500 222, or request assistance via the AA Roadservice app.