The AA’s research and development department has come up with new solution to help future-proof the breakdown service to deal with the increase in electric vehicles and SUVs.
Although SUVs accounted for more than one in five new car sales last year, it’s not currently possible to tow some vehicles with seized brakes, failed wheel bearings, or 4x4s and many EVs. Adding to this, a large number of 4x4s don’t have spare wheels so have to be recovered to fit new tyres. This means drivers have to wait for a full low-loader recovery vehicle, bringing delays to their journey.
A new wooden prototype developed by AA chief engineer, Steve Ives, who has worked at the AA for over 35 years, solves this. The freewheeling hub can be fixed by patrols to the rear wheels of the broken-down vehicle so that these can be towed on two wheels. It also works with the patrol’s multi-fit wheel.
The invention is being piloted by 200 patrols in one area and will be rolled out to all 2,100 patrols by June 2020.
James Hosking, AA roadside chief operating officer, said: “This fantastic innovation will help to future-proof our service and rescue customers more quickly than our competitors. We have already seen a big increase in SUV sales and are likely to witness an electric vehicle revolution in the coming years. Our innovation keeps us ahead of the game.”