Diesel Trailer used on the Nissan Leaf tour – Click above for high-res image

Remember the16-foot hydrogen support trailer that followed the Hydrogen Road Tour from California to Vancouver last year? Yeah, that showed how the infrastructure for H2 vehicles just wasn't available in places the tour wanted to go. Turns out, advanced technology vehicles of many sorts need to bring these secret support vehicles along for the ride, as we learned from a recent tip about the Nissan Leaf's road tour.

What you see above is the diesel-powered 440V range extender that follows the Leaf around on tour. This picture was taken during the recent North American Car of the Year drive near Ann Arbor, MI. Katherine Zachary, who handles PR for Nissan North America, told AutoblogGreen:
Yes, in some cases we've used a mobile quick charger that's powered by a generator to supplement our preferred 240V Level 2 charging. The Drive Electric Tour is targeting 50,000 test drives from coast to coast, making it the largest ever electric vehicle test drive. Our objective is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to drive the Nissan LEAF, and quick charging when necessary has proven to be the most effective solution to meet the great demand. At the rapid rate of infrastructure development - we have visibility to 13,000 charging stations that will be installed next year - we are confident this is solution is only temporary.

Additionally, wherever possible, we've taken measures to ensure the Drive Electric Tour is friendly to the environment - including wide usage of recycled materials throughout the experience.
As Zachary said, Nissan is working hard to get fast chargers installed around the country so that Leaf drivers will be able to get their cars powered by electrons generated by (potentially, at least) non-fossil-fuel sources. We're in the transition phase to alternative power vehicles, and that sometimes means finding slightly secret means to move the cars down the road today.


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