The Washington Post

The Leaf: electric, except when it’s diesel?

Pardon my recurrent electric-car obsession, but I simply couldn’t resist snarkily linking to this item from Automotive News, about the new Nissan Leaf.

Money paragraphs:

If your Leaf EV goes limp near Nissan headquarters in Japan, help is on the way. But it’s not very green.

In a test program in its home prefecture south of Tokyo, Nissan’s 5-ton “EV rescue vehicle,” with a 29-kilowatt diesel-slurping mobile generator, speeds to the aid of EV drivers with dead batteries.

The Japan Automobile Federation, Japan’s version of AAA, says it rode to the rescue of broken-down electric cars 86 times from last summer through April. In 73 cases it was because the electric vehicle had drained its battery.

Nissan is building a Leaf factory in Tennessee and sold 1,000 of the little hatchbacks for $32,780 each in May — not counting the $7,500-per-car federal tax credit we all kicked in to help upscale consumers feel green save gas and/or the planet.

I wonder how many of Leaf buyers know that there might actually be a big honking diesel truck in their future? Can’t wait to see what the resulting traffic tie-ups look like.

Charles Lane is a Post editorial writer, specializing in economic policy, federal fiscal issues and business, and a contributor to the PostPartisan blog.


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