Just the other day I had a brief, but interesting conversation with a colleague of mine at ORNL who recently purchased a Nissan Leaf all-electric automobile. I've looked at them myself and they are well engineered. Anyway, I asked my friend how he likes his new Leaf. His answer was interesting...
"It's a great third automobile," he said. "Third?" I asked. Yes, "Third" he retorted. "It seems about once a week or so, both my wife and I have 100+ mile days. The Leaf doesn't have the range to handle this demand. So it has to be our third vehicle." He went on to say that he drives the Leaf to work most days every week, and really enjoys the drive. The vehicle is solid, extremely quiet ("habit forming" he said), and because the batteries are under the seats, it has an extremely low center of gravity.
I can certainly vouch for the speed of the car. He has passed me on the local interstate highway several times when I was driving the speed limit (65-70 mph) (smile).
Nissan and my friend are pioneers - path finders - for all of us.
Now if we can just get that mileage up to 200 miles per charge. Then (at least here in rural east Tennessee) the Leaf could graduate to "second car" status. I hope that day is not far away.