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Juice up Your (Electric) Car for Free

The price of gas might be steadily rising, but it won’t cost you a dime to “fill up” your car at Bruce Bennett Nissan in Wilton. There’s only one catch: the car you’re filling needs to run on electricity.

In preparation for delivery of the Leaf , Nissan’s award-winning electric car, the dealership has installed battery-charging stations outside the showroom that stand ready for drivers to amp up on wattage. “Electric cars are not some flash in the pan technology,” says Bruce Bennett. “They are the future of the automobile industry, and we are now officially ready for that future.”

And for now, you can charge your battery-operated vehicle free of, er, charge.

The all-electric Leaf was named Car of the Year for 2011 at the New York International Auto Show . The Leaf, which went on sale in the United States in December 2010, beat two popular models for the top nod: the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A8.

Despite its high honors and brisk sales, the Leaf has been difficult to come by in Connecticut. Liam McClellan, sales associate at Bruce Bennett Nissan , says: "The demand for orders has greatly outweighed the supply.” In part, he says, because each leaf is built according to the customer’s specific preference.

McClellan says the charging stations are open during regular business hours, but he expects wider use down the road. “Eventually I expect to see them integrated into our infrastructure, just as traditional gas stations have been for some time,” he says.

The all-electric Leaf will travel approximately 100 miles per charge in the city and 92 on the highway. The first wave of Leafs is due in the showroom in December. Until then, the charging station awaits your free fill-up.

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