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    A little help?Roadside aid is changing (slowly)

    Illustration by Janna MeoraCar and driver

    From the November 2021 issue Car and driver..

    I ran out of gas on my driveway. To make matters worse, on the street in front of my driveway. I knew the gauge was empty and it had been so even before I left that morning. I’d like to say that it rarely happens to me, but mostly with an optimistic sensation adjacent to the classic fleet and personality disorder, I tend to run things erratically. And hey, when I’m finally exhausted, there’s always a plastic gas can in the trunk.

    But recently, we had to look at the rate of decrease in battery readings and face the possible consequences of applying classical thinking to modern technology. Volvo XC40 Recharge I drove cheerfully across that 208-mile EPA range. I went home, but otherwise I would have needed a long extension cord and a lot of patience from my neighbors to charge on the street.

    Gas shortages are an increasingly rare mistake, at least according to Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering. NSResponds to 30 million rescue requests each year for everything from flat tires to flooded engines. “We don’t get the gas demands we used to do,” he says. “Modern cars give us all sorts of warnings. Gauges are more accurate. Over the last decade, gas demand calls have been steadily declining. Perhaps 2% of calls are related to fuel. It’s much easier to do. Get out in a classic car like you. “

    I called Brannon to see if AAA noticed a change in the type of support that members needed, rather than pardon. You would have expected to hear about the surge in EV flat toes to charging stations and the urgent need for technology to charge roadside batteries. However, given the small number of electric cars and the fact that their drivers may be paying more attention to the needs of the machine than the average commuter, EV depletion is just a mere AAA call. He says it’s a small percentage. “In 2010, we launched a pilot program to investigate EV roadside assistance,” says Brannon. “A combination of five models. Different methods of mobile charging. Some models handle compressed natural gas and truck power take-offs. Some models use large generators. When a prototype rescue truck is installed. , No one needed it. There weren’t enough electric trucks on the road to request service. “

    This does not mean that AAA does not need to rescue electrical equipment. “The only difference between electric vehicles is the type of fuel they use,” says Brannon. “You can still get flat tires. You can still drive them into the grooves. You can still lock your keys in them.” Brannon Pause. “In fact, people don’t often lock car keys anymore, but if you really work hard, some cars will still do it.”

    So what are people left behind these days? Battery, 12 volt type. Electric vehicles also have a regular 12 volt battery and do not have the same lifespan as a high voltage battery. When it gets worse, the same thing: the car doesn’t want to start.

    “Batteries don’t like heat, short trips, or long periods of rest. So you can imagine a lot of battery calls in the last year.” Brannon just before our chat. He said he was helping a Toyota friend who was stuck. Cause? The battery is dead. I didn’t ask if he had his peers show his AAA membership card.

    However, it returns to the sideways runout. If the hypermiling skill fails and the EV uses all its juice, there is no better solution than loading and transporting it to the charging point. Brannon says quick recharging is still the goal and AAA will sooner or later find a solution. “We know that as more EVs hit the road, the needs are growing,” he says. I’m a little early to ask about it. In the meantime, I think it’s better to refill with a plastic mug.

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    A little help?Roadside aid is changing (slowly)

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