AA switches to electric breakdown vans for 2035 net zero goal

Consumer auto association the AA is switching some of its breakdown vehicles to electric as it continues to decarbonise its business in a bid to reach net zero by 2035.

In partnership with electric charging specialist Mer, the breakdown service is switching a number of selected patrol vans to EVs. As the EVs are parked overnight at drivers’ homes, Mer will install home charging infrastructure so that AA is billed directly.

The AA first added electric vans into its pool of 2,500 operational roadside service vehicles earlier this year, including three capable of EV to EV mobile charging, with two plug-in hybrids and a hydrogen vehicle completing the fleet of low-emission breakdown vehicles.

At the time, Dean Keeling, managing director of roadside service, described the move as a “ground-breaking moment for the AA and the UK breakdown sector”.

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In FY23, the auto association and breakdown company consumed 155,844 MWh of energy, contributing to an adjusted footprint of 36,937 tCO2e (location-based) – an increase of 1,065 tCO2e compared to FY22.

In its latest ESG report, AA explains the year-on-year increase has been driven largely by growth in its fleet, which has increased from 2,630 vehicles in FY22 to 2,870 in FY23. Travel miles per job have also increased, although this was offset slightly by an increase in the number of direct recoveries made by more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Mer head of business charging Emma Spark said the company is “extremely proud to be supporting the AA’s roll-out of all-electric first response vehicles.”

Group fleet manager Simon Ungless said the company needed a partner “who could make the entire process simple and hassle-free for our drivers.”

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