PORTLAND, Ore., – AAA Oregon/Idaho’s roadside assistance truck that can charge electric vehicles will be on display at the 104th annual Portland International Auto Show, which runs Thursday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Oregon Convention Center. The EV charging truck will be on display Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the show’s ECO center, located just outside the main entrance to the main floor. AAA Oregon/Idaho will have a booth set up during the entire run of the show.
AAA Oregon/Idaho is one of only five AAA clubs in the country taking part in a pilot program in six markets to test roadside assistance vehicles with the ability to charge electric vehicles. In addition to Portland, other markets are Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville, Tenn., and the Orlando area. The EV charging truck has been in service in Portland since May 2012.
The deployment of the AAA Mobile EV-charging trucks means the automobile and travel club can now come to the rescue of its members with depleted electric vehicles and provide AC and DC charging on the roadside.
“AAA’s been helping drivers for more than a century, providing jump starts, tows, new batteries, fuel and locksmith services to our members in need. Now our members with electric vehicles can also receive assistance thanks to our mobile EV charging,” says Marie Dodds, Director of Government and Public Affairs for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Our truck can help alleviate some ‘range anxiety’ with the ability to provide a charge to EVs on the roadside that gets drivers back on the go quickly.”
The truck deployed by AAA Oregon/Idaho is powered by a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled generator. Trucks being tested in other markets are equipped with generators powered by other technologies, including hydraulic power take-off from the truck’s transmission and a removable lithium-ion battery pack. This will allow AAA to evaluate multiple technologies in different environments.
AAA will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time to members with discharged electric vehicles, which will allow the vehicle to be driven up to 10 miles (depending on the vehicle) to a charging station.
“AAA has long been able to serve drivers who’ve run out of gas. We deliver a small amount of fuel to them at the roadside so that they can safely get to the nearest gas station. Now we can offer a similar service for drivers of EVs,” adds Dodds.
All AAA mobile EV charging roadside assistance vehicles can provide DC Fast Charging and Level 2 AC Quick Charging to electric vehicles. The two-port charging station’s connector (plug) will work with most late-model EVs, and the charger is compatible with most currently produced EVs from large automakers.
The mobile charging truck is very similar to AAA’s other light services vehicles — a noted difference to mobile charging vehicles recently unveiled in other countries. 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.
For the third year, the Portland International Auto Show has one of the largest ECO centers in the nation at an auto show. The ECO center features the latest in electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, alternative fuel cars, electric motorcycles and scooters, EV charging stations and EV support companies.
Hours of the Portland International Auto Show are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The Oregon Convention Center is located at 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Portland, Ore. Tickets are $12 adults, $7 for children ages 7-12, free for children age 6 and under, $10 for Military with ID and adults age 62 and over. Parking in the Oregon Convention Center garage is $9.