Though well on its way to joining the Dodo, one of the internal combustion engine's advantages over its plug-in competition is refuel time -- it only takes a few minutes to gas up, but you're talking hours for an EV to top off its batteries via a standard 220 / 240-volt socket. This fact is not lost on Nissan, as it just revealed plans to offer a higher-rate charger in its 2012 Leaf -- the current model's 3.3kW charger needs eight hours to power up -- in order to better compete with the Ford Focus Electric's three to four hour charge time courtesy of its 6.6kW unit. And all you early adopters won't be "orphaned," as 2011 model Leafs can be retrofitted with the new electrics -- no word if Daddy Warbucks will be footing the bill.

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Nissan to give Leaf faster charger in 2012: home charging goes from glacial to a snail's pace?