Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery
When General Motors filed a trademark request for the oft-discussed term "range anxiety" the company lit a fuse, upsetting a handful of automakers. Tesla and Think immediately fired back at GM by releasing statements. First, Tesla vice president of communications, Ricardo Reyes, declared:
Later, Think global marketing director, Michael Lock, offered us some choice words that bashed GM's limited technology and called the attempt to trademark "range anxiety" a form of "kindergarten marketing."By all means, GM can have "range anxiety." To Roadster owners, the term is as irrelevant as "gas stop" or "smog check." We are, however, looking into trademarking "Tesla grin."
Nissan stood idly by, offering no comment on the GM trademark subject. Now, the company behind the battery-powered Leaf is taking a stand by offering a fee-based roadside service program that's aimed at removing "range anxiety" from the electric vehicle equation. The service, which costs 1,500 yen ($18 U.S. at the current exchange rate) per month, includes unlimited roadside assistance. By signing up for the service, Leaf owners are assured that if they ever do run out of juice, help is just a phone call away.
The program works like this: Nissan will transport drained Leafs and their owners to the nearest dealership for a recharge. If Leaf owners incur any expenses due to running out of juice, Nissan will foot the bill. That is, provided that the costs don't exceed the cap of 550,000 yen ($6,500 U.S.). In addition, the service program includes free vehicle inspections every six months.
For now, this service is only offered in Japan, but we'd expect that this range-anxiety-quelling program, or at least something similar to it, will be available stateside soon.