Japan’s Roadside Service Cars Offer EV Charging to Curb Range Anxiety


You decided to do your part for the environment and buy a shiny new electrified Nissan Leaf. You’re cruising down the highway, amazed at how quiet the car is, then, something out of the ordinary happens. You run out of juice. Now what do you do without your 200 Amp, 240 Volt charging station near by?

Range anxiety could become more of an issue than many may think, for companies selling the EVs, they believe it is something to take into consideration. This is why the Japan Automobile Federation hopes to eliminate much of those fears that keep many people skeptical and wary of EVs. If my Leaf will only run for 75-130 miles on a charge, what’s going to happen next? We’re used to gas stations being positioned on nearly every street corner, so we can expect our gas to be there. But with EVs under the $50k mark, we’re not going to get the range of say a Tesla Roadster (250 miles). Although most people do not commute more than 33.4 miles a day, on average. So why all the anxiety? Perhaps its those road trips, the off time when we’d like to just take off and go for a while. With that in mind, Nissan is running a trial in Japan where roadside service vehicles carry an EV charger with them. Nissan built the prototype service truck which will charge EV drivers who don’t have enough juice to get home. The trial started in Kanagawa Prefecture this week, which uses a Nissan Leaf as its governor’s official car. JAF will deploy the roadside service vehicle with the charger from its Kanagawa branch office. In December 2010, JAF conducted roadside assistance training for EVs using a Nissan Leaf at the Nissan Education Center for its staff from throughout Japan. They also initiated practical roadside service training across Japan using other EVs beside the Leaf. Will it come to the US? Only time and stranded EV drivers will tell.
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