Gravity taketh away but gravity giveth back, Nissan is trying to teach all of us. The Japanese automaker has posted a two-minute video about Maui resident Neil Wagner using his Nissan Leaf to catch the legendary sunrise over the volcano in Haleakalā National Park. After climbing the more-than-10,000-foot elevation, the Leaf is shown having lost about 84 percent of its usable battery capacity.
The finer point, though, is that electric vehicles have a regenerative braking system, meaning that the downhill ride and all of its switchbacks actually replenish battery capacity. Of course, the video didn't show exactly how much of that capacity was replenished, but the point is well-made, and with really cool scenery.
Sales for the Leaf have already been strong this year. Through the first three months of the year, Nissan boosted sales 46 percent from 2013 numbers up to 5,184 units. This is after more than doubling sales last year to 22,610 units.
And, for anyone curious, there are six publicly-accessible plug-in vehicle charging stations in Kahului and another eight in Lahaina, two of Maui's largest cities, according to the US Department of Energy. We're pretty sure that Mr. Wagner already knows that but we're going to take notes in case we need to make the sunrise drive one day. For now, we're going to check out Nissan's two-minute video below one more time.