Roadside electric car charging is an essential part of increasing electric vehicle adoption. The complexities of getting a dead EV back onto the road seems to contribute to range anxiety, which is often a factor when deciding between an electric or gas powered vehicle.With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), it’s important for roadside assistance and towing companies to understand the different methods, equipment, and ways to scale electric car charging infrastructure. We’ll explore these topics and provide an overview of what you need to know about adding roadside electric vehicle charging to your business’ service offerings. 

What Happens If An Electric Car Runs Out of Charge on the Road?

A stranded EV has historically required a flatbed tow truck, however it can be difficult and potentially damaging to use a hook and rope on an EV. To help prevent this kind of roadside assistance service, more and more roadside EV charging methods are being developed.

One method is using portable generators to offer mobile charging. Electric vehicles can be powered by a generator, but there are trade-offs to consider.  First, these generators often run on gasoline or diesel, and a lot of EV owners choose to drive electric vehicles in order to minimize their carbon footprint. Also, these gas powered generators are often slow, sometimes taking over an hour to deliver just 20 miles of range. Lastly, this process can be complicated, as generators have to be properly configured to charge EVs. 

The EV charging method you choose for your business doesn’t necessarily need to be capable of fully charging an EV, but it should be able to quickly deliver enough range to get that EV to the nearest charging station. The best solution would be to choose a mobile battery powered DC fast charger (Level 3) like SparkCharge’s Roadie Portable

The Roadie Portable mobile EV charger is able to deliver 1 mile of range per minute from a grid-free battery powered charger. This allows roadside assistance and towing companies to provide EV owners with efficient and safe roadside charging. 

Equipment Roadside Electric Car Charging

These are the factors you should take into consideration when choosing a roadside electric vehicle charger for your company.

  1. Charging Speed: Consider the charging speed you want to offer. There are 3 different levels of electric vehicle chargers available, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (DC fast charging). Level 1 is not fast enough for roadside EV charging. Level 3 EV charging would be the best option for roadside EV charging as it is the fastest, however there are not many portable DC fast fast chargers available.
  2. Compatibility: Ensure the equipment is compatible with a wide range of EVs, including different models and charge ports (CCS and CHAdeMO). SparkCharge’s Roadie Portable is compatible with all EVs on the market so your business can serve all customers.  
  3. Sustainability: No one wants to charge their electric vehicle with a gas or diesel generator. Pick charging equipment that provides a sustainable EV charging solution.
  4. Safety Features: When providing roadside EV charging you want to ensure that the portable EV charger you choose for your business has safety features that ensure the safety of the operator. The Roadie by SparkCharge features an emergency stop button on top of the unit to immediately stop the charge in case of emergencies. 
  5. User Friendly: Consider the user interface of the charger. You’ll want something that is easy to operate in the field to ensure efficiency. 

To learn more about how to choose the right portable charger for your business, check out our blog post, “What to Look for in a portable EV charger”. 

How to Scale Roadside Electric Car Charging 

Scaling roadside EV charging involves increasing the number and availability of mobile EV chargers to meet growing demand and can help put your roadside assistance/towing business ahead of the competition. 

The first step in scaling for roadside EV charging is to conduct a demand analysis. Determine the current and potential demand for EV charging in the area your business serves. Consider factors such as EV adoption rates, population growth, and tourism. 

The next steps are to look at funding options. There are many grants, programs, and tax rebates available to help support businesses looking to purchase electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). 

If your business currently offers roadside EV charging, look at your existing clients for areas of improvement. Continuously monitor the usage and performance of the portable EV chargers and make adjustments as needed to optimize their performance and efficiency. 

Scaling roadside electric car charging requires a combination of strategic planning, effective implementation, and ongoing tracking to ensure success.