One of the main challenges in the field of electric vehicles is to provide enough charging stations. Charging infrastructure is expanding, but people might be wondering what they should do if they need power in an area with few available charging options. Mobile EV charging could be a way to alleviate some of these concerns.
Mobile EV charging explained
Mobile EV charging refers to EV powering methods outside of a home charger or charging station. The mobile charging market is new, and two companies highlighting its potential are SparkCharge and RE:START.
According to Yahoo Finance, SparkCharge is a startup that offers EV owners a mobile charging option no matter where they are. SparkCharge customers can use the ‘Current’ app to make calls for a fee. A SparkCharge employee will then arrive at their location with a portable EV charger called a Roadie.
RE:START is another mobile EV charging company, but instead of offering charging as a service, RE:START sells a battery that will allow drivers to charge their EVs themselves.
According to US News, RE:START batteries are designed to give the driver 30 to 60 miles of driving range, and with innovative liquid cooling technology, RE:START chargers can do that in 15 minutes. These batteries are portable so drivers can charge their vehicles no matter where they are.
A possible role in the EV industry
Companies like SparkCharge and RE:START could play a big role in the future of electric vehicles, but it’s unlikely that mobile EV charging will ever replace standard charging methods. Instead, mobile charging will likely complement traditional charging.
Mobile charging could help drivers who want to drive an EV but live in areas with little charging infrastructure. One day, being able to call SparkCharge could mean access to a charge regardless of the driver’s location.
Thanks to mobile EV charging, drivers can be less stuck on the side of the road. Keeping the RE:START battery in an EV can give the driver peace of mind. If they start to run low, they can simply use this emergency battery to jumpstart their EV to get home or to the nearest charging station.
Mobile EV charging is still in its infancy
While mobile EV charging has a lot of promise, it will take time for it to become widely available across the US. Currently, SparkCharge is only available in San Francisco, Dallas, San Jose, and Los Angeles.
These are already cities where EV charging is available to drivers, so it will take time to see how a service like SparkCharge performs in a place where drivers use mobile EV charging as their primary charging method.
However, SparkCharge is growing and the company aims to expand to 20 new markets. Thanks to $23 million in funding, that goal could be within reach.
Drivers may also have more mobile EV charging options in the future. AAA recently announced a pilot program that will expand roadside assistance services to EVs. AAA vehicles will carry mobile EV chargers in 16 cities, according to CleanTechnica.
If an EV driver runs out of battery, he can call AAA and AAA’s mobile charging vehicle will arrive to provide the stopped EV with enough power to get to the charging station. This is only a pilot program in a limited number of markets, but it could be a sign of where mobile EV charging is headed.
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