AN columnist: Electric cars have a role to fill

2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's often been assumed that plug-in vehicles will contribute, at least to some degree, to the "greening" of the automotive industry, but how big a role battery-powered autos will play still remains unknown. Recently, Automotive News' (sub. req.) editor-in-chief Keith Crain spent some time driving both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf to try and find out just how big a role plug-ins will play.

Crain found both vehicles to his liking, calling the Leaf a "perfect" fit for his lifestyle and admitting that after a week of driving it, his "range anxiety went away." Crain recommends that urban dwellers consider buying a Leaf. Moving on to the Volt, Crain called it a "far better choice [than the Leaf] for a single-car family" concluding with "there's no reason ever to worry about range anxiety or being able to take it on vacation."

Crain calls the Leaf's lack of range its biggest drawback but realizes that the Volt's petroleum-burning ways may deter some buyers, but he seems confident that both vehicles will play a role in shaping the future of the automotive industry. Crain acknowledges that, even though plug-ins won't dominate the industry any time soon, the more alternative technology vehicles available to consumers – even if only offered in limited numbers – the better. Agreed?

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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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