Nissan's all-electric Leaf has given its owners freedom from gasoline while presenting new challenges for avoiding dead batteries. Leave it to the Dutch to discover how to freeload a charge with a pickup and a tow hook.
According to Nissan, should the Leaf ever need to be towed back to the nearest electrical outlet, it should only be done by flatbed trailer — never by a two-wheel or flat tow, even though it has a tow hook in its front frame. But Dutch Leaf enthusiast Vincent Everts had a brainstorm; if the Leaf could recharge itself on the road through regenerative braking, why couldn't it do the same if some other vehicle was providing the forward motion?
Using a Toyota Tundra — or as these Dutchmen call it, a "fuck the world truck" — Everts was able to partially recharge his Leaf while it was flat towed by the Tundra if he slightly depressed its brake pedal. There are drawbacks; pressing the brakes too far engages the real brake pads, and the Leaf's complicated computer systems really hasn't a clue what in tarnation is going on. But Everts was able to recharge about a third of the Leaf's capacity in a 10-minute drive, also temporarily creating a Japanese version of the Chevy Volt.
Hat tip to Norbert and Remco