Roadside "E-sistance": Company Launches First Mobile Charging System Solution

· · 10 years ago

As plug-in cars catch on over the next decade, it's clear that the way we think about providing a complete ecosystem for them will require many changes. From the obvious infrastructure changes to the behind-the-scenes supply chains, the auto industry is about to experience some major upheaval in the way it fits into the world.

But what about roadside assistance? Last week we dealt with the silly notion that plug-in drivers will get stranded more often than combustion-engined drivers because they are too stupid to know what their range is. Even so, it's inevitable that plug-in drivers will sometimes find themselves stranded and out of juice just like combustion drivers. Yet, all current roadside assistance has no way to help them out except for a tow; carrying that extra 10 gallons of gas around in the AAA truck will do nothing for you, the plug-in driver.

In order to solve this problem, Nation-E, a Swiss battery supplier and battery management solution provider, has developed what they are calling the "first mobile charging station for electric cars," the Angel Car. While I'm sure that there are many other solutions like the Angel Car out there and in development, what might be true is that the Angel Car system is the first to be sold as a complete package.

The concept is simple. A service vehicle is fitted with a large battery and a high voltage charging station that can supply enough electricity to get you another 15 miles of range in about a half hour. The thinking is that you likely won't be that far from your charging destination if you have pushed your plug-in beyond its limits and 15 miles should be enough to get you over the finish line. Nation-E says that they plan on selling both a complete Angel Car solution, including converted service vehicle, as well as a separate system that can be installed on existing service vehicles.

Since Nation-E is Swiss, it doesn't sound like they've taken into consideration the SAE charging standards the U.S. has adopted—Levels 1-3, both DC and AC—but the translation wouldn't be that difficult.

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