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A View from the Altar / Footnote on electric vehicles
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Footnote on electric vehicles

The Nissan Leaf is Japan’s entry into the totally-electric car market.  The Leaf has a battery and no gasoline engine.  The range is advertised at roughly 100 miles.  The price in the United States is about $32,000.  I hope Nissan can sell a grunch of these things and help with the problem of getting charging stations set up where people can drive longer trips with them.

But the Leaf illustrates a problem with green gadget technology in general: It’s overpriced and underperforming.  The Leaf’s range and performance are inferior to a gasoline-powered car, and it costs a lot more money than a car of comparable size and passenger toting capacity such as a Honda Fit.

Well, somebody has to start somewhere.  Electric cars potentially offer some advantages that gasoline and diesel never can, such as emission-free transportation inside major cities.  But Americans aren’t going to snap these up in big numbers until they can make a whole day trip without getting stranded.  And the Leaf can’t do that.  The Chevy Volt can, but that’s because it’s got a gas burner on board.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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