Nissan's ultimate range anxiety cure: another car

2011_nissan_leaf.top.jpgThe Nissan Leaf can travel up to 100 miles on a charge but that may not always be enough. by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Nissan Leaf electric car can go up to 100 miles on a charge, but that may not always be enough so, for Leaf owners outside the United States who are planning a trip longer than that, Nissan is considering a solution: gasoline-powered loaner cars.

The loaner car plan would allay "range anxiety" concerns among electric car buyers. That's the fear of getting stuck somewhere when an electric car's batteries run out.

Because it is common for families in the U.S. to have more than one car, the Leaf would likely be a family's second or third car, obviating the need for Nissan's loaner program in the United States, Nissan's spokesman Steve Oldham said.

While the Leaf would travel up to 100 miles in stop-and-go city driving, its range could be considerably less when driven on the highway. Using accessories like window defrosters, air conditioning or heating, can also reduce the car's driving range.

General Motors, which claims to have invented the term "range anxiety" and has applied to trademark it, touts its Chevrolet Volt as being immune to the problem.

The Volt can drive on electric power alone for about 40 miles. When driven further, a gasoline engine comes on to provide power for 300 miles or more before the car has to be either recharged or the gas tank refilled.

The Volt will go on sale late this year, at about the same time as the Leaf. GM will sell initially the Volt in more limited numbers than the Leaf. Although the Volt will cost considerably more than the Leaf to purchase, consumers will be able to lease either car for about the same rate of $350 a month.

"It validates our decision to build an electric vehicle with extended range," GM spokesman Nick Richards said of Nissan considering offering loaner cars. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
Nasdaq 4,449.56 -22.54 -0.50%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.04 -1.59%
Data as of 5:10am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 75.19 0.21 0.28%
Apple Inc 97.67 0.64 0.66%
Bank of America Corp... 15.59 -0.03 -0.19%
Ford Motor Co 17.62 -0.22 -1.23%
Applied Materials In... 21.23 -0.52 -2.41%
Data as of Jul 25

Sections

The rideshare app will launch in New York on Friday evening, as the city's taxi commission comes to terms with the technology. More

Americans with disabilities face huge financial hurdles and it starts early on, according to a recent report. More

Louisiana is now the top location for motion picture filming, supporting thousands of new jobs and small businesses. More

Americans with disabilities face huge financial hurdles and it starts early on, according to a recent report. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.