One of the most frequently aired concerns when discussing electric vehicles (EV) is what happens when you run out of juice. Of course the obvious answer is that you break down, just like with a normal
car - but with some forethought, you're not likely to let that happen. Should the unthinkable happen, however, some news from Japan may bring a little comfort to existing and prospective EV owners. The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) and Nissan have just started testing a roadside service vehicle that's equipped with a charger to assist EVs.
Every year the steep countryside in the Rocky Mountains 10 miles west of Colorado Springs echoes with the roar of engines as entrants negotiate the treacherous switchbacks of the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
. This year, however, a number of vehicles will be making the climb in near silence, including Nissan's all-electric LEAF
. The LEAF's entry in the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks the motorsport debut of the vehicle that, aside from the removal of a few interior parts to make way for safety equipment, will be very similar to the LEAFs that roll off the production line.
has called upon its motorsport division NISMO to help give its all-electric LEAF
some racing cred. The result is the new LEAF NISMO RC, and despite the fact it's unlikely to be trading paint on the racetrack in the near future, Nissan says it's been designed and constructed as a real racing machine. By cutting the weight and giving it a new aerodynamic body the NISMO RC makes 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.85 seconds on its way to a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).
With a track record including the time-honored Z series and the extraordinary GT-R supercar, Nissan’s credentials for producing affordable sports car exotica is without equal – which makes the company’s latest showing even more exciting. Nissan will use the Geneva Motor Show to debut an electric sports car based closely on technology pioneered in the production Nissan LEAF. The ESFLOW is a two-seater with its two electric motors each driving a rear wheel. It will hit 100km/h in under five seconds and run 240kms between powerpoints.
has provided a peak at the goodies it has in store for January's Tokyo Auto Salon
aftermarket show. The vehicles from Nissan and its subsidiaries Autech and NISMO range from styling concepts to production racecars and includes makeovers for the just-out-of-the-blocks
and mini-crossover JUKE.
Nissan has announced that its CARWINGS Information and Communication Technology system (ICT) for EVs will come as standard with the Nissan LEAF
in the U.S. and Europe. The system, which allows users to use a mobile phone or PC to remotely check their electric vehicle’s status and control some onboard systems at any time – even when the vehicle is switched off – has been available to Japanese customers since 2007. While it hasn’t been revealed who will provide the wireless connectivity for the system in the U.S., the company has confirmed Telenor Connexion has been chosen as the European connectivity supplier for the vehicle.
San Francisco Bay Area resident Olivier Chalouhi has become the first person in the world to take delivery of a Nissan LEAF
all-electric vehicle. At a special presentation on Saturday at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma in California, Chalouhi, a 31-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was the first person in the U.S. to place a LEAF order, took possession of a black LEAF SL in what Nissan described as an historic event representing “the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.”
Electric rental cars are set to take to the streets next year with both the Hertz and Enterprise Rent-A-Car companies committing to adding electric vehicles
to their fleets. Next week (December 15) Hertz plans to begin its ConnectByHertz car sharing program in New York City with the service expanding to San Francisco, Washington D.C, Texas, London and China by the end of 2011. Meanwhile Enterprise has announced that from January 2011 they will begin rolling out EV rentals in Phoenix, Tucson, Knoxville, Nashville, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, although it is not clear how many vehicles will be available at each location and from what date.
Portland General Electric and NEC have joined forces to declare North America's first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles open for business. Heralded as a tipping point for the roll-out of electric vehicles
in the U.S., the Takasago Rapid Charging Station is said to provide batteries with up to 80 per cent full strength in 20 to 30 minutes. Company officials and Governor Ted Kulongoski took the opportunity to power up a visiting Nissan LEAF
before it left for a two-day tour of the area.