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Exclusive Report: Nissan May Offer Free Car Loans To Leaf Buyers

Deal designed to offset “range anxiety.”

by on Oct.07, 2010

A proposed week-long free car loan program could help Nissan overcome "range anxiety" about the Leaf battery car's 100-mile range.

Struggling to find a way to overcome the so-called “range anxiety” about electric vehicles, 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.

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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.