The Nissan Leaf electric car's advertised purpose is protecting the environment. But with an advertised range of 100 miles-per-charge and a propensity for running out of juice early and with little warning, the company's solution in Japan involves chucking that "save the earth" nonsense out the window in favor of a big ol' diesel-engined five-ton truck.
Don't tell Captain Planet, but Nissan would rather not leave electric car owners stuck on some Japanese highway tweeting away about how much their car sucks so they've teamed up with the Japanese Automobile Federation — Japan's version of AAA — to provide a giant portable generator.
Dubbed the "EV Rescue Vehicle," the five-ton truck runs on good old dependable recycled dinosaur with a 29-kilowatt diesel generator attached to the back. Its crew of two Mighty Morphing Powering Rangers work to give the Leaf another 25 miles, which involves hanging out on the roadside 20 minutes spewing particulates into the air. Particulates that are likely KILLING A POLAR BEAR RIGHT NOW.
According to Automotive News, the JAF has rescued 86 stranded electric vehicles in less than a year, the vast majority of which suffered from dead batteries. Sounds like there may actually be something to that whole "range anxiety" thing.
Right now this is just a pilot program for cars in Nissan's home prefecture, so if you're anywhere else in the world your best solution is probably to carry a 5,000-ft extension cord with you.