Nissan has been trying to change the market perception of electric cars. The LEAF went on a national tour in the United States. During this marketing meet and greet most of the central portion of America was skipped over. At least Tesla Motors had the good sense to not leave this part of the population out during their cross country event.
Tesla was trying to disprove range anxiety by driving their Roadster cross country. While the car completed the task. The tour just proved what a hassle it is to go long distances in a limited range electric car. Most people travel more than 200 miles a day when on vacation. No one wants to add an extra 5 days to a journey that would take 3 in a gasoline powered vehicle. People can’t get past this fact because they just want to hop in their car and go. On our trips out to Seattle and back we averaged 600 miles a day sometimes more. A 100 mile battery pack in the Nissan LEAF wouldn’t even allow us to drive from Springfield Illinois to St. Louis Missouri without running out of juice. We can easily drive that in our Chevy Aveo on 1/2 a tank of gas or slightly less.
What I have written above is the reality. The supporters of the electric car movement get up in arms any time you mention range anxiety. At this time electric vehicles that don’t have access to quick charging stations are limited in regards to the miles they can travel. Granted gasoline cars can’t drive forever. But they are easier to fuel back up – for now.
Many of us do weekend trips that a Nissan LEAF wouldn’t be able to accomplish. We drive to Rock Island from Springfield often. The LEAF wouldn’t get us there. Chicago from Springfield is almost 300+ miles the LEAF would come up 200 miles short. This is what frustrates many people. Drivers want to be able to drive where they want when they want without having to make a big plan.
The electric car was actually the first car. It’s sad that almost 100 years later we are just now getting back to using them. No one seems to know enough history to realize electric vehicles are nothing new. Range is one big negative that should be overcome in the next 5 years or less. There are many positives people overlook. Electric cars have a simpler design that uses less parts. This means there is less to break down. You lose the tailpipe and the pollution. A lot people try to tell you the pollution is just moved to the power plant. Studies have been done that disprove this theory. You are supporting real American jobs not foreign oil conglomerates who in some cases may support people that highly dislike our country. When an electric car is designed properly you don’t lose performance. In some cases you can actually gain it.
In the end the Nissan LEAF would meet our daily driving needs easily. It would just be the weekend trips or long journeys we like to take where it would fail. The LEAF looks to be roughly the same sizes as the Chevy Aveo we drive now. So for us no loss of space would take place. The thought process at the moment is to keep that car for the long journeys. If money wasn’t an issue we might even buy an overly complicated GM Volt to replace the Aveo for the long hauls.
My feeling is someone has to be the early adopters and lead by example. If you are going to talk about change you had better be willing to try and make changes. Personally I think an electric car revolution is several decades late. I don’t think to highly of people who don’t understand this. Unfortunately many don’t get it – no matter how many different ways you explain it to them. My hope is once people see owning an electric isn’t a hassle and more of them are on the road – their mindset will start to change. Sadly that will probably be more hope than reality. But we won’t know unless we try to create change.
You would think that at least half the 117,000 people would be willing to put $100 reservation down to show they support the cause and are serious. It’s refundable if you change your mind later or if you find a better electric car before Nissan gets inventory to your part of the world. It just makes sense to shut up or put up for $100.