If California is the undisputed capital of electric cars in North America, which state is its antithesis?  

According to the Idaho Business Review, Idaho could be that state, with both the 2012 Chevrolet Volt and 2012 Nissan Leaf unavailable at present. 

Worse still, Nissan won’t be even making its all-electric Leaf available in the state until the end of 2012 - that’s more than two years after Nissan opened its online reservation portal for the five-seat hatchback. 

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

Getting a 2012 Chevrolet Volt in Idaho won’t be much better either. According to the Idaho Business Review, Chevrolet won’t even be opening a reservation queue in the state until the end of 2011, with delivery dates as yet unconfirmed. 

Why the reluctance to sell in Idaho? There’s a whole plethora of reasons, from the geography of the state and lack of public charging stations through to its cold winter climate and sparse rural population. 

And while Nissan is including battery heating in its 2012 Leaf along with heated seats and steering wheel to help it and its passengers cope with the cold winters of more northern states, we suspect Nissan wants to test the leaf in other, more populated winter climates before letting it lose in Idaho. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt on test in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2011

2011 Chevrolet Volt on test in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 2011

Ironically, Idaho is home to the U.S. Depatrment of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. Focusing on nuclear and energy research, it is heavily involved in testing a whole range of plug-in vehicles, including pure electric, extended range electric and plug-in hybrids. 

That won’t help consumers in Idaho get their hands on an electric car for the time being though.  If you can’t wait until the end of this year for a 2012 Chevrolet Volt, or want to be driving the all-electric Leaf before the start of 2013, we’d suggest you head west to Oregon, or Washington State, where both cars are currently on sale in Portland and Seattle respectively.

As for the worst place to live for electric cars, do you know somewhere even worse than Idaho? Let us know in the Comments below. 

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