Help coming for stranded South Australian electric car owners

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The South Australian Royal Automobile Association has commenced a six-month trial to provide emergency electric vehicle (EV) charging in the Adelaide metro area.

The service is intended to provide EV owners with depleted batteries with enough charge to drive to their nearest charging station.

The Toyota HiAce patrol van will be based at RAA’s Mile End site and service any member within the metro area as needed. Previously EVs that ran out of charge would need to be towed to a charging station or the driver’s address.

The service is intended to reduce range anxiety for electric vehicle owners and new drivers looking to make the switch to electric vehicles.

It follows the introduction of similar services by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ), NRMA and Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV).

“We know thousands of South Australians are thinking of making the switch to an EV and one of the main barriers is how and where they will charge,” said Mr Reade.

“From this week, South Australian EV drivers will have the confidence that if they do run out of charge on the road, we’ll be there to rescue them with our emergency mobile charging device.”

In addition to rolling out this new service, the RAA is adding an EV to its fleet: a Peugeot e-Partner. It’s also being trialled for a six-month period.

“This is a first and significant step for RAA in transitioning our patrol fleet to an all-electric one,” said RAA CEO Nick Reade.

Currently, the RAA’s patrol fleet accounts for around 80 per cent of its Scope 1 emissions (i.e. emissions coming sources owned by the organisation) and around seven per cent of its overall emissions.

The Peugeot E-Partner will be leased to the RAA through CarBon Leasing and Rentals.

“We’re pleased to join forces with RAA as they kick off their EV transition and break new ground for zero emissions vehicles in their fleet.  This EV represents more than just a new vehicle; it’s a fantastic commitment to RAA members and the planet,” said CarBon CEO and founder Scott Gillespie.

Working with the state government, the RAA is rolling out a network of 140 EV charging sites across the state that’s expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Construction has already commenced.

The charging network will offer 7kW, 150kW and 200kW charging stations on highways, in the CBD and suburbs as well as regional areas of South Australia.

According to the RAA, 6.8 per cent of vehicles sold in South Australia during 2023 were EVs, up from 2.7 per cent in 2022. It estimates there are around 7000 EVs on South Australian roads.

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