The AA and Chargemaster have strengthened their partnership further with AA patrols set to carry POLAR RFID to emergency call-outs. Should an AA member be stranded in their EV with an empty battery, the patrol will be able to easily help get them to a POLAR point and recharge.
The service is likely to become increasingly important since a new AA-Populus survey has revealed that, of the 41% of AA members who currently own a diesel car, just 16% of them would buy a new diesel. In total, a third of AA members aim to switch from diesel cars for their next purchase – with some looking at EVs.
The AA has put its patrols through training courses to be able to deal with breakdowns of plug-in and hybrid vehicles already, with special rig created at its training base.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, said during a keynote speech at the Energy Savings Trust conference in London yesterday (Thursday 9th November): “We have always been at the forefront of motoring innovation and as our member surveys show, the number of plug-in vehicles on the roads is going to increase quickly.
“So we want to ensure that all of our members are supported on the road, no matter what vehicle they drive. Our partnership with Chargemaster will offer AA members fantastic benefits in the future and now gives them peace of mind in the event of an emergency.”
David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said: “In many ways we have passed the tipping point for electric vehicle adoption in the UK, and the pace of change over the coming years will be quite dramatic.
“We recognise that charging infrastructure, whether at home, at work, or in public, is critical to increasing the uptake of EVs and supporting drivers to make the switch. Although many people are concerned about the number of charging points, the reality is that including dedicated units fitted at home, there are as many charging points in the UK as there are electric cars.
“The benefits now available to 15 million AA members means that many more drivers will have the confidence to join the thousands of people moving to electric motoring every month.”
Other concerns to come out of the survey include:
• Availability of charging points – 84%
• High purchase price – 83%
• Battery durability – 69%
• Limited range – 61%
• Time taken to charge – 60%
• Lack of choice/availability – 49%
King continued: “Most of the barriers to owning an EV are myths. Three quarters of drivers will mainly charge at home and the network of charging points is growing by the day.
“As the majority of people will charge overnight, using off-peak electricity at home, the time taken to charge should not be an issue and indeed fast chargers, capable of providing an 80% charge in less than half an hour, are becoming more common.
The purchase price of EVs is falling while the quality and variety of models available; battery durability and range are all improving. The future of cleaner, greener motoring looks bright.”