The RAC has added a Renault Zoe van to its patrol fleet and will use it to attend breakdowns.
It claims to be the first major roadside assistance company in the UK to being using an electric vehicle in this way.
The Renault Zoe 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. As such, the van carries up to six replacement 12v car batteries, two tyres, a trolley jack, a battery tester, the RACScan diagnostic tool and a host of standard patrol tools.
Paul Coulton, RAC group operations director, said: “We have been assessing various electric vans for some time but have been frustrated by the fact there isn’t one on the market that can do what our diesel-powered patrol vans can do at the moment in terms of carrying 500 parts and tools and towing broken-down vehicles, with a range that’s even half what one of our standard vans can do on a full tank.”
The RAC deals with around 7,000 random events every day meaning a 200-plus mile range was a critical requirement. The Zoe is capable of covering up to 245 miles between charges.
It will be deployed in a variety of settings, both urban and rural, to assess its efficiency as a patrol vehicle.
Coulton added: “While we continue to talk to manufacturers about our requirements, we’re confident we can put an electric RAC patrol van into effective use on the road by carefully deploying it to jobs that won’t require towing.
“This first RAC all-electric patrol van may be small, but it’s easily capable of successfully attending nearly half of the breakdowns we get called out to on a daily basis. We’re confident it will prove the old saying that good things really do come in small packages.”
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