Compared to the rather sparse infrastructure of charging stations, gas pumps are practically ubiquitous. Even so, gas-powered drivers know it's not uncommon to overlook that little flashing light next to "E" until your V-8 is running as quietly as any electric motor... for a very short distance.

Even more than the limits on making a big trip, knowledge of our own fallibility that makes many people worry about their ability to survive with a battery-powered vehicle. After all, AAA can always bring you a can of pity-gas when you sputter to a stop alongside the freeway, but a nationwide roll-out of this service for plug-in vehicles is only getting started. What are you going to do when your EV is on the shoulder and that guy from motorist assist only shrugs his shoulders? Cars.com, during a test drive with a Nissan Leaf, recently found out that one answer involves phoning up a tow truck.

Even though Cars.com still had a 50-percent charge on its Leaf, the team played helpless so they could test the mobile charging station offered by a company called Real Power. Just like the folks from AAA, Real Power brings a truck to you when you're in trouble, but this Real Power truck is loaded up with a level 3 fast charging station. In just 10 minutes, the Real Power truck had restored around 11 miles of range to the Leaf, more than enough to get a stranded motorist an exit or two down the line. Real Power says it can bring even a totally dead battery up to 80 percent charge in half an hour.

At the moment, Real Power's truck is only a prototype, so even if you don't suffer from daily range anxiety, don't start to treat that battery gauge too cavalierly.

[Source: Cars.com]


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