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When it comes to pure electric cars, range anxiety is never far from the conversation. Indeed, here at AutoGuide, we’ve had a number of experiences when cars almost ran out of juice, including the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i.
In the Leaf’s case, getting the car from to and from the AutoGuide office proved to be somewhat unnerving, given the 40-mile distance from house to office alone.
And we’re not alone, anybody driving more than a 30 mile round trip each day is likely to face a similar scenario (Nissan says the car has a range of about 70 miles in real world driving before requiring a charge).
In Nissan‘s continuing effort to relieve range anxiety, the automaker has now announced a joint project with the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) to test out a roadside assistance vehicle capable of recharging electric vehicles.
“As EVs gain wider consumer acceptance, 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,” said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan’s senior vice president of External and Governmental Affairs. “Nissan is leveraging the development and trial operation of this roadside service vehicle with charging equipment – and the accompanying staff training – to strengthen cooperation with JAF and to benefit customers. This will build confidence in EV use and contribute toward achieving a society with low carbon emissions.”
Along with recharging electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf, the support vehicle is capable of acting as a tow truck as well.
Testing of the vehicle began today in Japan, as Nissan and JAF look to move this project into reality.
Would a roadside assistance program like this make you more likely to buy an EV?
GALLERY: Nissan Roadside Assistance EV Charger
If you’re one of the many who signed up for a 2011 Nissan Leaf, you may be suffering from “range anxiety” (the fear of running out of power in the middle of nowhere). To help you overcome this, Nissan is coming up with a program that would give Leaf buyers a longer-range alternative.
This program would give Leaf owners a no-cost loan of a conventionally powered vehicle that could be used for treks that went beyond the capacity of the 100-mile Leaf. This loaner car option is still in the works, so it’s not yet clear exactly how it would work.
Under this program, the Leaf owner would get a car rental package that would cover the use of an Xterra SUV or Altima sedan for a week. Right now, it’s not clear whether the rental would be handled through a participating Nissan dealer or through an independent rent-a-car company.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]