A mobile rescue van for stranded electric vehicles will begin scouring the streets of Perth to help cars that have run out of charge under a trial to encourage EV ownership.

Insurance company RAC has announced it will operate one battery top-up van in metropolitan WA, as the state continues to push towards completion of Australia’s longest EV charging network.

It comes as the number of EV sales in Australia more than doubled from 3.1 per cent of the car market in 2022 to 7.2 per cent in 2023.

The van is equipped with a mobile charger capable of providing 15 kilometres of range in 20 minutes for drivers who run out of charge.

It’s hoped that’ll provide enough juice to get a driver in trouble to the nearest charging station.

RAC spokesman Will Golsby said he hopes the trial will build confidence for current and prospective EV owners.

“While we are seeing increasing interest in EVs across WA, one of the biggest concerns continues to be access to charging infrastructure,” Mr Golsby said on Wednesday.

“This trial will help us understand the realities of using fully electric vehicles as part of our roadside assistance fleet, so we can start planning to add more in the years to come.”

Electric vehicle ‘range anxiety’

The WA government is in the midst of completing an electric vehicle “highway”.

The state’s public EV charging network will provide drivers with access to 98 charging stations across 49 locations, ranging from Eucla on the South Australian border to Kununurra in WA’s far north.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the so-called highway aims to provide critical charging infrastructure designed to ease “range anxiety” for EV owners wary of whether their car will have enough energy to make it to the final destination without running out of charge.

The government hopes to complete the EV network by the middle of the year at a cost of $43.5 million.

Electric vehicles have come under sustained attack recently from the likes of former US President Donald Trump who is campaigning on an anti-EV platform.

Despite global demand for EVs on the rise, the presidential hopeful has claimed the vehicles are “too expensive” and “don’t go far enough.”

Extracted in full from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-17/new-electric-vehicle-roadside-assistance-van-launched/103350262

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