Struggling to find a way to overcome the so-called “range anxiety” about electric vehicles, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that Nissan is preparing a program that, if brought to market, would give Leaf buyers a longer-range alternative – at least for one week a year – by providing them with a no-cost loan of a conventionally-powered vehicle that could be used, for example, for a longer vacation than possible with the 100-mile range of the Leaf.
Imagine cutting your energy costs by 80% or more. That and the premise of helping the environment will be two of the key selling points when the new wave of battery-electric vehicles, such as Leaf, starts reaching market later this year.
The downside is that pure battery-electric vehicles, like the 2011 Leaf, have relative modest range and long charging times, limiting their capabilities in the eyes of most potential buyers. It could be a critical weakness of the battery market, analysts warn — and something competitors will try to benefit from.