Running out of juice no longer requires a tow to the nearest charger, but it does require a substantial cash outlay.
Sometimes the charging station is a bit farther down the road than anticipated, which can be bad news for an EV owner and is where the term “range anxiety” came from. If you’er driving a vehicle with a traditional internal-combustion engine, roadside assistance can show up with a few gallons of gas and send you on your merry way. Not so with an EV, but now charger company Blink has stepped up to help electric cars in their time of need with a portable charger.
Blink has already rolled out the unit to roadside-assistance companies. The 240-volt AC charger holds up to 9.6 kilowatt-hours of electricity and charges at a rate of up to one mile per minute, according to Blink. The device is compatible with all vehicles, even Teslas, and is self-contained so it doesn’t need to be installed anywhere.
“Roadside assistance companies, insurance companies, auto manufacturers, and even credit card companies offer their members, customers, and cardholders roadside services. The Blink mobile EV charging station provides yet another valuable emergency service for its members and all EV drivers,” founder Michael D. Farkas said in a statement.
The mobile charger can be ordered networked, so customers can use their Blink accounts to pay for a charge, or off-network so roadside assistance companies can add emergency EV charging as a service for its members. Its price—starting at $6500—means this is a product for someone with a lot of EVs or someone who runs a roadside-assistance service. But then, if you’re the kind of person who has a backup generator at home, a backup EV charger might be something you’re willing to lay out cash for. After all, hypermiling challenges to get to a charger with only a few miles left on the battery don’t always work out.