Quality Verified | Posted April 25, 2023

Roadside Assistance in an Electric Car

While we’d like to think our cars could run forever, sooner or later, pretty much everyone runs into a problem that forces them to pull over.
Recurrent Auto
Recurrent Auto

AAA Contributor

Whether due to a flat tire or some other mechanical failure, most people have been stranded on the side of the road at least once. When bad luck strikes, you can try to tackle the issue yourself, especially with something like a flat tire, but this often means embracing the hassle and possibly the elements. Or, you can call in the experts.

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‍AAA offers roadside assistance services for electric vehicles all over the country, and they’re getting more sophisticated as more drivers switch to EVs.

Roadside assistance for an electric car is very similar to the services you’d get for a gas car. Flat tires and accidents can happen to anyone, regardless of how the vehicle is powered. Likewise, EVs have 12-volt batteries, just like conventional gas vehicles. If the 12-volt battery dies, the car will need a jump to start. Winching a car out of a ditch or unlocking a vehicle after the keys have been forgotten inside is going to be a similar process, regardless of what’s powering the engine. Any company offering roadside assistance should be able to help you out of these common situations. 

Where EVs Are Different

When you call your preferred roadside assistance service, you’ll want to let them know:

1. You're Driving an EV

There are certain complications that apply only to electric-powered vehicles.

EXAMPLE

Most electric vehicles don’t have a true neutral position in their transmissions. Because of this, moving the wheels can cause the motor to turn as well, which can damage the engine. EVs generally require flatbed towing to prevent this type of damage.

2. Your Battery Charge

There’s no gas tank to refuel in an all electric vehicle, so no jerry-can to save the day. If your EV battery runs out while out of the road, most companies will offer to tow the vehicle to the nearest charging station or dealership. That’s a less than ideal situation for those who want to get back on the road as soon as possible. Fortunately, as EVs become more common on America’s highways, roadside assistance services are rising to meet demand and offering new solutions for low batteries.

3. Your Road Service Options

Rather than requesting a tow, you can ask for a charging truck. AAA now offers mobile electric vehicle charging in 15 cities across the country. The mobile charging service comes at no additional cost to AAA members and AAA is hoping to expand to more cities as demand grows. AAA also offers trip-planning apps to help drivers find chargers along their routes and is installing charging stations at many of their branch office locations.

Charging as a Service

A major player in the mobile vehicle charging game is SparkCharge. A success on Shark Tank, the charging-as-a-service company offers an app that allows drivers to schedule a charge, no matter where they are parked, and sells their DC fast charger, the SparkCharge Roadie, to companies looking for innovative ways to power their electric fleets.

Visit Recurrent to learn more about electric vehicle battery health.

This article is originally researched and written by the team at Recurrent.

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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