Why Owning a Nissan LEAF in Juneau, Alaska Can Be a Hassle


For the few Nissan LEAF owners in Alaska, the cold climate with its ability to be range-sapping isn’t what makes the LEAF less desirable.

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

The majority of LEAF owners in Alaska must not have issues with range/climate, because we’ve yet to hear owners there voice complaints in that regard.

But what we do hear complaints of is lack of dealership support.

Robert Barker, owner of a Nissan LEAF and resident of Juneau, Alaska loves his LEAF.

Prior to purchasing his LEAF in July, Barker was paying nearly $450 per month to fuel his two vehicles.  We’re not sure what he pays now, but with one of his two automobiles being a pure electric, we’re sure it’s way less than he was paying before.

It’s obvious Barker loves the LEAF, as these statements show:

“I don’t miss going to the gas station.”

“Now this is our main car — we’ll drive this first before the other one.”

So, what’s the issue then?  While Barker says that the LEAF is basically maintenance-free, there are times when it needs to go in for a check up.  The problem is that there exists not a single Nissan dealer in Juneau, Alaska and that Nissan requires check at certain intervals to retain warranty.

2014 Chevy Volt Available in Alaska

2014 Chevy Volt Available in Alaska

Barker, likes other LEAF owners in the area, have to travel hundreds of miles to purchase a LEAF (Nissan lists dealers in Anchorage – 848 miles from Juneau – and Fairbanks – 733 miles from Juneau, but those are the only 2 in all of Alaska), so when service is required, special arrangements must be made.

For Barker, the trade off is worth it, but for others, the lack of a local Nissan dealer means that the areas only other available electric, the Chevy Volt, is a more logical choice

The Volt can be serviced at a local Chevrolet dealership in Juneau, which makes it more attractive to some.

Despite the difficulty in servicing a LEAF in the area, sales are strong.  Alaska Electric Light & Power Co.’s Alec Mesdag says that, of the two (LEAF and Volt) electric vehicles available for purchase in Alaska, sales are split 50-50.

Mesdaq adds that the cost of electricity is so cheap in Alaska that the average EV owner spends less around $15 per month in “fuel.”  At that cost, dealing with the Nissan dealer issue might be worth it, but wouldn’t the Volt be the more logical choice in Juneau?


Source: Juneau Empire

Categories: Nissan


Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "Why Owning a Nissan LEAF in Juneau, Alaska Can Be a Hassle"

newest oldest most voted
Dave R

If Nissan were smart, they’d open a tiny service center primarily for servicing LEAFs there.

I remember reading that the LEAF owners of Juneau were thinking about shipping a LEAF tech in periodically to perform updates en-masse.

remi st-amant

Same problem for me with my Leaf maintenance. The nearest accredited leaf dealer is at 500 km. The local Nissan dealer don’t believe in EV car. I’m leaving in Rimouski, Quebec Canada .

I know many peoples who are convicted to buy Nissan Leaf but they don’t buy because no local Nissan Leaf service. It’s very bad


What are the “special arrangements”? Do they ship their cars to the dealer for service?

remi st-amant

No Specials arrangements. We will try to bring the technician who received the “electric” training at our local dealer.

Jesse Gurr

Thats nice for you but for this story, there is no local Nissan dealer, at all!

Jesse Gurr

They could buy a focus electric, problem solved.



That dealership doesn’t even have any ICE Ford Focuses in stock.

Kyle Cuzzort

Stanley Ford is also not EV-certified by Ford. They can’t sell plug-ins yet. I asked before buying my Leaf, since I would have preferred a local dealership.

That advertising on their website is false, plain and simple.

HOWEVER, I will say that they’re helping advocate EVs in town. I just don’t know whey they aren’t selling them!


They could just use dog sleds.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yet another reason for Tesla to fight to sell their own cars themselves.

Kyle Cuzzort

I’m one of those Juneau Leaf-owners…

Wasn’t this article posted here a couple weeks ago (it was: http://insideevs.com/sales-of-electric-vehicles-on-the-rise-even-in-juneau-alaska/ )

Anyways, I have not heard yet that Mendenhall Auto will service Leafs. I really hope they do. The local Budget Rent-A-Car is owned by the same people as Stanley Ford (our local Ford dealership), and they own a Nissan dealership in Anchorage. I really hope they open a service center, myself. Unfortunately, after driving my car a friend walked into the Anchorage dealership and was told, in a snarky manner, “We don’t sell those electrics.” So I’m guessing the Anchorage dealership is a non-starter for service.

I’m expecting we’ll all have to pool for a tech to come up for a day or two from Washington.


Service issues at the Anchorage Nissan dealer go beyond snarky comments about EVs. As a prospective car buyer just trying to look at vehicles on the lot, I had to navigate between four salesmen bickering amongst each other about who would be able to bother me first.