Equal time: While Prez. Obama test-sat the Volt’s European sibling, the Ampera, in Lisbon, Nissan had its own celebrity test driver for the Leaf EV. “John Roos, U.S. ambassador to Japan, test-drove Nissan’s “Leaf” electric vehicle in Yokohama one afternoon in mid-November, just before the APEC summit got under way,” reports The Nikkei [sub]. Then the Ambassador deeply inserted his foot in his mouth. He said he was particularly intrigued by the way the Leaf was able to charge its battery with solar power, a feat he saw at a “smart-city” exhibition sponsored by the Yokohama city government. Roos then asked officials running the demonstration whether the technology could help reduce oil dependence in Hawaii. Oops, wrong question.
If there is one place where an EV makes the least amount of sense in terms of reducing the use of crude, then it’s Hawaii. According to Newsweek, the island state draws “about 90 percent of its energy from imported crude.” Sure, they want to wean themselves from the oil habit, but there is only so much you can do with sunshine and scenic waterfalls. And range anxiety? I wouldn’t want to brave the road to Hana in a Leaf,