If the “charge” to electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf isn't quite as powerful as automakers expected, one of the reasons might be carbuyers' fear of being stranded when the power runs out. With charging stations still a rarity along our highways and biways, it's a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed.
And addressed it is, by none other than Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (makers of the Leaf) and the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). A press release from Nissan announced that a roadside service vehicle equipped with a charger to assist electric vehicles will commence operations on a trial basis effective June 7th, 2011.
“JAF has been working on ways to create an environment where motorists can drive EVs with the assurance that assistance is available,” stated Masakazu Kume, Executive Director of the Japan Automobile Federation, “and to support the adoption of environmentally-friendly EVs as part of our social contribution activities.” JAF has anticipated real world use of the service vehicle by acquiring insulated gloves and goggles for the service vehicle's staff.
Nissan knows very well that buyers won't flock to the Leaf and other all-electric vehicles down the road without some kind of safety net to protect them in the event of a power problem.
“As EVs gain wider consumer acceptance,” elaborated Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan's senior vice president of External and Governmental Affairs, “it is important to create a roadside assistance system that can help motorists driving EVs which have run out of battery power, as well as to build a charging infrastructure. This will build confidence in EV use and contribute toward achieving a society with low carbon emissions.” (via Akihabara News and AutoGuide)