>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
OPPAMA, Japan -- Nissan Motor Co.'s new electric vehicle comes with a computer system aimed at allaying drivers' fears that they will be stranded midtrip by dead batteries.
The system taps navigation maps, cell phones and a 24-hour global data center to keep drivers apprised of how much farther they can drive.
"One of the fears of customers is what happens when you run out of electricity," Nissan r&d chief Mitsuhiko Yamashita said last week at Nissan's Oppama technical center before the car's Aug. 2 unveiling. "This charging support gives drivers a secure feeling and will help EVs become more widely accepted."
The navigation system shows a map with the driving radius of one-way and round trips possible given the car's current charge.
It can calculate whether the vehicle is within range of a preset destination. The car also tracks all charging stations within range in case its lithium ion batteries need more juice.