If the short driving range of electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf discourages you from EV ownership, Nissan may soon have a solution. The company hopes to assuage drivers’ “range anxiety” with a novel roadside-assistance program in Japan, which would provide mobile rapid charging stations to help stranded Leaf drivers get back on the road.
Developed in partnership with the Japan Automobile Federation (effectively Japan’s equivalent of AAA), Nissan’s plan is for a fleet of roadside assistance trucks equipped with special chargers that can quickly recharge a stranded electric car. Nissan says this will help improve public perception of electric cars as a charging infrastructure is developed, by providing a “safety net” in case drivers run out of power.
Nissan and the JAF plan to begin a trial version of the service near Kanagawa, Japan later this year, with the goal of putting mobile charging vehicles into more widespread use in the future. The project, “will build confidence in EV use and contribute toward achieving a society with low carbon emissions,” said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan vice president of external and governmental affairs.
Would you feel safer driving an all-electric vehicle if a service was available to give you an extra boost when the battery ran out? Or is this a subtle admission that the Leaf doesn’t offer enough range for most motorists? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.