The People’s Electric, Ready to Claim Power

Here comes the people’s electric car, America, ready or not.

Nissan-Leaf-SilverThe Nissan Leaf, a mildly futuristic four-door hatchback, arrives as so much a pioneer that the systems necessary to keep it moving down the road are still being put in place. The process is a bit like the progression of the first transcontinental railroad: tracks are being laid as a locomotive sits steaming impatiently behind.

Here comes the people’s electric car, America, ready or not.

The Leaf’s equivalent of those unfinished tracks is a public charging infrastructure, the lack of which is probably the most serious limitation of all purely electric cars. For owners whose trips are within 30 or 40 miles of home (or who can use a charging station at the workplace), this presents no problem.

Fast-charging stations, a necessity for longer treks, are few and far between now, but a network of them are planned to begin operating within the next year or so. Leaf buyers who buy the optional $700 Quick Charge Port will be able to use a direct-current fast-charger to replenish their batteries to 80 percent of capacity within 30 minutes and continue on their way.

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Source: Jerry Garrett | The New York Times
Photo: Nissan USA