A problem when breaking down in an electric vehicle!
Now that Electric Vehicles are becoming more popular, it’s becoming clear that despite its eco-friendly engine they are not without their problems. The first thing that might come to mind is simply running out of battery. But it turns out an empty battery is not the biggest issue.
According to LV Britannia Rescue, only 11% of EV callouts deal with running out of battery. Instead, it’s the 36% of callouts for wheels and tyre problems that are becoming a bigger issue. This is over twice the amount that makes up tyre call outs for petrol and diesel vehicles.
Why is this?
Because the excess weight of the car’s batteries makes it 50% heavier than a traditional car which puts more stress on the tyres. To make things worse, most manufacturers no longer fit a spare wheel as standard. It’s no wonder that EV drivers need assistance for tyres.
What issues do roadside recovery and breakdown providers face when an EV does breakdown?
It can often be a big problem to tow an EV vehicle, as they are often automatic and 4-wheel drive, so can be easily damaged. The Nissan Leaf for example, should not be towed at all with the front wheels on the ground, or four wheels on the ground, as this may cause damage to the motor.
But it turns out that two of our biggest automotive customers have found a solution.
After being the first to launch an all-electric break-down vehicle, the RAC helped solve the difficulties of towing EV with their All Wheels Up rapid deployment trailer (RDT).
The purpose-built kit extends out of the RAC patrol van to securely lift all four wheels of the broken-down EV off the ground, which eliminates all risks of damage typically caused by towing. See it in action below...
The AA also have a solution designed by AA Chief Engineer Steve Ives called the ‘freewheeling hub’. The idea is that two hubs are attached to the outside of the EV wheels, so that they can raise the two front wheels and pull the car along on the freewheeling hub instead of the wheels.
Some breakdown providers use on-board chargers run off a diesel engine. This isn’t good for the environment and can take a long time. The freewheeling hub is a much safer and environmentally friendly solution and gets a much more positive response from AA customers.