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.
And 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.
Everyone’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.
Meanwhile, 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:
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