The Zap-Map app will be distributed to the RAC’s 1,600 patrols via phones, laptops and in-van terminals after the breakdown and recovery company partnered with the charge point mapping app.
The rollout, says the RAC, will enable them to locate the nearest available, suitable, publicly accessible charge point for its members to get their EV recharged and back on the road again as quickly as possible.
RAC head of technical James Gibson said: “By ensuring all our patrols have Zap-Map on their RAC devices, we’re giving members with EVs extra reassurance that we’re equipped on every level to get them going again, should they ever run out of charge or encounter a faulty charge point.
“While we have the technology to give them an emergency boost, it’s vital we know how far away the nearest suitable charger is so we can give our members enough mobile charge to get them there safely.”
He explained: “We chose to partner with Zap-Map because it’s without doubt the best app for finding the nearest available public charge points for whichever vehicles our members might be driving.
“The level of information provided in the app is excellent and we urge every EV driver to download and use it, as it genuinely makes EV driving even simpler.”
RAC patrols can already provide an emergency charge to flat or severely depleted electric cars with its RAC EV Boost technology.
It can also move stricken vehicles with the All-Wheels-Up rapid recovery system, which gives patrols flatbed towing capability from a standard breakdown van.
Alex Earl, commercial director at Zap-Map, said: “We are always keen to explore new ways of working, especially when they help to make the switch to electric as seamless as possible.
“The RAC has so many patrols on the road, and they will increasingly encounter EV drivers who may be in need of their help.
“We therefore felt it made sense to provide them with easy access to Zap-Map, as it will lead to a better experience for anyone who does run out of charge.
“We will also be looking to get patrols to feedback anything they discover about out-of-order or faulty charge points, ensuring Zap-Map users have access to even more accurate information to search, plan and pay for their electric journeys.”
Last year, the RAC and Zap-Map published a joint report on EV charging provision at supermarkets, which found that the number of chargers at supermarkets had grown by 85% over a 21-month period.
During that time, Tesco had added more EV chargers than any other supermarket.
In January, the RAC put a Renault Zoe Van E-Tech into service. The patrol van will principally be used to attend the RAC’s two most common breakdowns – batteries and tyres, which together account for nearly half of all call-outs.
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