Nissan’s Killer EV App, the Plug-In Car That Puts the Nail in GM’s Coffin

I have seen the future and it is a new car electric car from Nissan.

Nissan is about to drink GM’s milkshake with a breakthrough, affordable, next generation electric car that will be beat the Chevy Volt to market, cost half as much and work twice as well.  Plus it looks ten times cooler.

Check out the new Nissan Leaf on video:

You’ve got to love the fact that Nissan had balls and the vision to bank their future on full on electric vehicles, leapfrogging their Japanese competition Honda and Toyota whose timid and safe bet on hybrids has already marked them as bridge technology car makers.  Both have been more than reluctant to go EV and both have said that the technology just isn’t ready yet.  Perhaps what they should have said is THEIR technology isn’t ready yet.


But Nissan has the lithium ion battery and tons of desirable, very cool features ready for prime time right here and right now. And by that I mean the end of 2010.

lithium-ion-battery-module-for-ev-1024x680And the Greenius says this looks like the smart money bet to me.  This looks like what would have been the plucky, American entrepreneurial spirit move to me.  Too bad for America our corporations long ago outsourced that kind of effort and heart.

This is a move that GM, Ford and whatever’s left of Chrysler should have made, but it’s too creative, too bold and too American for any of those legacy car companies to pull off in the 21st century. These are companies that already screwed the pooch and squandered their market share and competitive advantage.  Their brand names don’t mean anything any longer.

peabodyEveryone’s all excited that Ford just turned a profit, but they’re doing it with a fleet of uninspired crappy cars that they practically have to give away.  You might as well call most of the cars they’re selling “future clunkers.” The Focus?  Really Ford?  The “new” Ford Taurus?  Are you kidding me?  Might as well just make the Pinto-hybrid.  When’s your affordable EV that gets 1oo mile range on a quick charge Ford?

But at least Ford didn’t just shamelessly stiff all their creditors through the scam of corporate bankruptcy like the FAIL crews at GM and Chrysler did.  The Greenius understands that this is in fact the era of bankruptcy but that doesn’t mean I have to pretend to like it.

Over at GM’s remake of Night of the Living Dead, they’ve cranked up Sherman and Peabody’s Wayback machine with Bob Lutz who still thinks Ronald Reagan is President and that chicks still dig him when he wears his plaid pants.

MINIEMeanwhile, over at Germany’s BMW they made a handful of  EV Minis just for show and not for dough in a cynical and dumbass move to game the California CARB regulators who once again seem to be all too anxious to assume the BOHICA position on behalf of car makers. Keep in mind that BMW has no plans to actually make this car, they’re just testing it in Southern California to “gather data.”

Not only that they’ve been treating their customers, the ones they’re charging $850 a month in leasing fees to, like they’re the enemy.  They delivered the cars late, they screwed up the installation of the proprietary charging stations at the homes of lessees and they restricted the range and the easy chargeability of the vehicles.

Plug-In insiders know exactly what BMW is trying to pull with all this and many have lost respect for BMW as a result.  Talk about a company screwing up its own brand future…

Contrast that with Nissan’s sincere and very prescient effort to delver the real deal.

Your Creative Greenius will be covering the 2009 Plug-In Conference coming up next week from August 10-13 and I’ll see the Leaf up close and personal and talk to the Nissan people.  I look forward to bringing you my insights and analysis.


One story I’ll be closely following and reporting on is China’s role as an EV car producer.  Several Chinese car companies are working on cheap, entry level full electric vehicles and will have them ready years before the major car companies.  I’ve got my eye on BYD, the Chinese car company that Warren Buffet is backing, and you will too when you see what they plan to deliver next year to the American market:

byd-e6-electric-car-002Here’s what our friends at Plug In America tell us about this car.  If it’s true, then American car companies are truly toast and the EV revolution will be arriving ahead of schedule.:

4 door crossover, 5 passenger, range 400 km (249 mi), 0-60mph 8 sec, top speed 100 mph, BYD Li-ion Fe battery, 10 min recharge to 50% SOC, 4 power combinations using front & rear motors on some models: 75kW, 75+40kW, 160kW, 160+40kW

6 thoughts on “Nissan’s Killer EV App, the Plug-In Car That Puts the Nail in GM’s Coffin

  1. Thank you for this enthusiastic writeup about this exciting car! I am looking forward to getting one as soon as I can.

    From the Greenius:
    Nissan says the Leaf will be available to the American market late in 2010 and I wish you luck in going EV.

    FYI – Lillian emailed me that this is the first time she’s ever made a comment on a blog. Congratulations, Lillian, on your leap into the interactive web. I’m flattered that you chose Creative Greenius to voice your opinion on.

  2. I’ve been waiting a long time for a good affordable electric
    automobile, too bad my purchase won’t support
    american car makers, but since they won’t make what
    I want, I guess the chinese or japanese will get my business.
    They are a least moving in the right direction.
    What a shame that Detroit just doesn’t get it.
    I would prefer to support my nations economy with my
    purchase but I’m not going to buy another gas powered car.
    Come on Detroit,
    WAKE UP!

    From the Greenius:
    Right on CactusJack! But I understand that Nissan is going to make some of those Leafs in Tennessee and even though it’s a Red State some folks still consider it part of the good ole USA. So maybe you will be buying an American car afterall. Not much American about those FAIL jobs out of Detroit this century anyway. They seem much more ANTIAmerican to me and have since the 70s.

  3. Just please tell me why this new Nissan has to look so ugly? Why do electric/hybrid designs always scream “boring” and “ugly” instead of “sporty” and “fun”?

    The Greenius: Maybe it’s because they’re not fashion items and their exterior design doesn’t really mean shit, Nathan. It’s time to stop responding like a mindless sheep when you look at cars. “Sporty” and “fun” are just bullshit marketing terms designed to sell you more crap. And you have to be pretty dimwitted to have that influence you.

    Cars are not an extension of your personality and they don’t tell people who you really are. They’re transportation, not toys. Too many adolescent men who never advance beyond the mental age of 13 have been pushing this whole fantasy of muscle cars and sports cars and luxury cars which have no connection to the real world we live in. How dumbed-down and lowbrow do you have to be to buy into that obvious manipulation of you as a consumer? How cool is your car when it spends most of its time in bumper to bumper traffic?

    When was the last time any driving experience you had was anything remotely like what you see in advertising? Answer: never. I’ve worked for car companies doing marketing for years and all of them look at guys like you as chumps. You only exist to fork over dollars and profit margin. They LOVE it when you whine about lack of “fun” and “sporty” because they know they own you and your wallet.

    Why don’t you just break out your toy Hot Wheels track and cars and play the games with cars you’d like to while using a sippy cup?

  4. greenius, I rode at 75 mph in a full electric being sold by Electric City Cars of Parker, Colorado– very cool experience! It was a Chinese knockoff of a Mini, but with 4 doors, and seemingly not of the same quality, and with strange ergonomics– so much so, that I couldn’t lift my left knee to operate the car’s clutch.

    Have to agree, however that the Nissan Leaf (which I’m sure will have quality and driving dynamics suitable and expected for a Nissan) looks more like a Turdpile, but you could say the same for the gas engined Nissan Cube, too. I like what I see of the new Toyota IQ, which may get developed for full plug-in. Any comments or postings on the Electric City Car vehicles? (ECM) One model has gel (lead) batteries, another had lithium. Thanks.

    The Greenius: Thanks for the report on Electric City Cars in Colorado, Peter. I hadn’t heard of them, but checked out their website and it looks like they’re carrying several made in China EVs.

    I think it’s funny that you feel so strongly about how the Leaf looks. I’m not all that concerned with cars as fashion items. I’m more of a substance-based dude. First of all you don’t really get to see how the car looks when you’re sitting behind the wheel driving it, so that’s pretty irrelevant unless you’re driving past a lot of mirrors. Secondly, the body shape’s aerodynamic influence is more important than its trend-setting style. But if you’re a slave to fashion you can pony up and pay to look pretty in a Tesla.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got to say that if the Chinese Mini-knockoff forces you to give up the use of one knee in a manual transmission, that’s just plain whack. I’m not seeing that all important Yao Ming endorsement on that one.

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