While the Nissan leaf has received ample praise in most regards, the one major concern that many potential owners share is its limited range. Given the 100 mile or less range, and the many hours it takes to charge, fears of getting lost or being stranded on a long trip are not entirely unfounded. For the time being, though, Nissan doesn’t seem to have any tricks up their sleeve to solve the problem. On their website they offer tips on how to get the most out of your battery life (by easing up on the climate control, for example), and services to connect you to the nearest charging station, but there’s no evidence of progress towards a significantly longer battery life. Beyond the Leaf, however, Nissan’s luxury car offshoot is expected to unveil a range-extending electric sports car in the coming year, and Volvo is experimenting with a range extender for their electric cars. This range extender is essentially a small combustion engine, which can switch on when needed to power the car and/or recharge the battery.
Only people in certain states can purchase the Nissan Leaf. Originally, they limited sales to Washington, California, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee because those states were the first to develop a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. They are slowly expanding the list of states where the Leaf is available. However, it is possible to obtain a Leaf if you live in another state and you have a friend in one of the listed states who can make a reservation for you and then trade it to you. Nissan wants to ensure that the people who are buying the leaf either live in a state with charging infrastructure or are fully aware that they can only charge at home so they don’t wind up stranded.
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