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Nissan perseveres with electric Leaf in a disinterested Australian market

7 Nov 2020

RAY Kinsella never heard the voice in his head say: “If you build it, they will come”. But a flurry of car-makers and start-ups must have woken to the misquoted line from the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella.


The actual quote was “If you build it, he will come” a reference to his dead father. The build was a baseball field for other top-ranking, but dead, players within Kinsella’s corn field.


There’s nothing dead about the idea of building a global overhaul of a century-plus transport system based predominantly around personal mobility.


Now, car-makers, governments and a fresh list of industries are trying to convert personal transportation from internal-combustion engines (ICE) operating on carbon and nitrogen-emitting fossil fuels to electric vehicles (EVs) seemingly powered by the emission-free means of a cord plugged into a wall.


It’s a big change for consumers who grew up with ICEs but EVs are gaining ground with supporters including people who enjoy fresh air, the EV industry and Mother Nature. And it looks like EVs will win, certainly in the long term.


But spend an afternoon with your calculator and a passenger-car EV doesn’t make much sense. Sorry.


The purchase price of any EV is well above that of a comparable ICE equivalent and that difference, when converted into a petrol account, will last for years.


There’s also little incentive when it comes to charge up. Charge stations are yet to grow to anywhere near the status of LPG outlets and finding them is – from experience – very hit and miss.


Then there’s the time you spend waiting for a charge, knowing that if you risk crawling to your destination under the glowing orange threat of a decaying battery, you could finish the journey only one way – on the back of a tilt-tray truck.


But drive an EV and these become annoyances rather than impediments. There’s lots to love about an EV and it’s not just for the driver. Passengers remark repeatedly about cabin comfort and quietness, the clarity of the audio, the relaxation of the ride and the warmth of knowing that there’s nothing nasty coming out of the exhaust pipe. If there was an exhaust pipe.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 July 2019

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