AAA to provide roadside EV charging

AAA Western and Central New York has committed to providing future mobile electric vehicle charging solutions as part of its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance efforts.

“AAA Western and Central New York is thrilled to partner with SparkCharge Inc. to integrate its Roadie solution into our automotive services in coming months,” said AAA President and CEO Anthony Spada in a statement. “We recognize that the future of automotive service is rapidly changing to include alternative fuel vehicles. We aim to close a critical gap in our mobile service offerings in the electric vehicle segment to provide relevant services to our members and the motoring public.”

Roadie is the world’s only ultrafast, portable electric vehicle charging system, according to SparkCharge. Upon acquiring the units, AAA fleet technicians will be trained on how they operate before mobile charging will be made available to members in need.

Running out of a charge on the road is a top concern among drivers when considering an EV, AAA officials noted. A 2020 AAA survey found that prior to owning an electric vehicle, 91 percent of respondents said that they had at least one concern, which included insufficient range, implications for long-distance travel and finding a place to charge.

Post-purchase, many of those worries disappeared, according to the survey. Nearly all owners surveyed reported never having run out of a charge while driving and on average, they do three-quarters of their charging at home. Some 96 percent said they would buy or lease another EV the next time they were in the market for a new car.

SparkCharge is a Buffalo-based business with ties across the region. The company is a 43North award recipient and recently was featured on Shark Tank, where it secured $1 million in startup funding.

There are more than 67,000 electric vehicles on the road in New York, according to a recent report from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

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