The company is piloting a zero-emission Renault Zoe Van E-Tech which is one of the few EVs on the market capable of carrying the necessary tools and parts needed to fix four out of five breakdowns on the spot, without its 245-mile range being compromised.

The new 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.

‘We are very excited to be putting our first electric zero-emission patrol van into service,’ said RAC group operations director Paul Coulton.

‘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.

‘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.’

The Renault Zoe 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.

‘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,’ Mr Coulton added.

‘We’re confident it will prove the old saying that good things really do come in small packages.’