Blog: Graeme RobertsElectrics suit the short tripper

Graeme Roberts | 8 June 2010

News yesterday from Nissan that, of the individuals (40% of the total) who have pre-ordered a Leaf EV, people aged 60 and up accounted for the largest proportion at 34%, followed by those in their 40s and 50s (25%) while people in their 30s took a 13% share and only 3% were in their 20s.

This reminded me of comments made by a couple of consumer journalists at the recent launch of the Toyota Auris HSD hybrid.

They opined that a hybrid was a far better fit for a fuel economy-minded older driver who might otherwise opt for a fuel-sipping frugal diesel without being aware of a short-trip shortcoming. To meet ever stricter emissions rules, these often have a particle filter in the exhaust which gathers up the gunk but needs a regular decent 30-minute blast down a motorway to burn it all off.

A petrol-electric hybrid like Toyota's can pootle off to the local shops initially on electric power alone and the petrol motor, which kicks in only when needed for battery recharging or extra oomph, and doesn't need that regular burn-off motorway trip - or play up if it's throat gets clogged.

For those who rarely go far, EVs like the Leaf will also be ideal. For the rare occasions when trips beyond the range are contemplated, Nissan has already said it will work with rental companies to offer favourable rates for a long-distance conventionalmobile.


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