That’s what Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn asked reporters in Los Angeles while presenting the Leaf, a pure electric car to be made for the masses and launched in late 2010. The hatchback to be manufactured in Tennessee starting in late 2012 is no nerdy eco-friendly car, that’s for sure. And the prototype certainly was fun to drive. Nissan set up a test course in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and even this cautious driver couldn’t help but race down the straightaway. No emissions, no tailpipe, no noise — but lots of speed, right away.Ghosn says the Leaf goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds, although it felt much faster than that. “This is not a golf cart,” he reminded us several times.But he is nevertheless keen on a slow U.S. rollout because he wants to get the battery technology and consumer experience right. In the first two years, just 10,000 to 20,000 Leafs manufactured in Japan will make their way to the United States and the first will go to around 15 high-potential cities, from Seattle, down to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego, and over to North Carolina.Los Angeles is likely to be an early market too and sources say Nissan is negotiating partnerships for the second largest U.S. city, where we spend way too much time in our cars. The Leaf can go 100 miles or 160 kms on a single eight-hour charge — enough for most L.A. commutes. And in a place where tailpipe emissions account for 40 percent of greenhouse gases (versus 30 percent for the nation), a Leaf fleet could make a difference in Los Angeles.So, what do you think? Don’t you find this car sexy?Photo credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser (Nissan’s Ghosn stands in front of the all-electric Leaf)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Brought back from the brink of financial ruin by a philanthropist’s $30 million gift, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles celebrates its turnaround this weekend with the most ambitious exhibition of its own iconic collection.
More than 500 works by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Jeff Koons and Jean-Michel Basquiat have been selected from MOCA’s 6,000 works, considered one of the world’s top collections of post-World War II art.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd will keep the price of its upcoming battery-powered Leaf competitive with similar-sized cars and expects to make money on the vehicle despite the cost of its launch, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn on Friday.
The five-passenger hatchback, which is being designed to have an all-electric range of 100 miles, would cost only 1 to 2 percent more than traditional combustion engine vehicles in its class, he said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sun Valley, a sun-baked and struggling corner of Los Angeles, is fertile ground for mortgage rescue scams with its high proportion of subprime borrowers, Spanish speakers and a sharp drop in home values.
And it is one of the first places targeted in the homeowner education campaign launched on Monday by government agencies, local leaders and housing advocates to stop scammers preying on desperate borrowers nationwide.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel became music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Wednesday at the age of 28, deploying digital tools to draw a younger and less elite audience to classical music.
Before a free inaugural concert for 18,000 on Saturday, Dudamel held the first rehearsal with what is locally known as the LA Phil, considered one of the best in the world and much admired for snatching the Venezuelan sensation out from under the noses of other U.S. orchestras.
Other than pounding on the bathroom door, there is little one can do to get family members (read teenagers) to take shorter showers. But with mandatory water conservation possibly coming down the pipeline in California’s third year of drought, one Denver-based company said it has the invention that will help households get through these dry times: the Shower Manager.The Shower Manager can be programmed to run for five, eight or 11 minutes at full flow. After a warning beep it cuts the flow by two-thirds, just enough to rinse. Five minutes have to pass before it can be reset – an eternity in a shower.One satisfied customer, Lisa J, was quoted by the company as saying her kids ”call it the Shower Nazi.” The Web site claims a family of four (including two teens) can save $400 annually in water and heating costs – compared to the product’s online price of $125.There is a cheaper alternative to promoting — though not enforcing — shorter showers. For $15.50, you can get a shower timer in the shape of a duck, a turtle or a star. One person on flickr showed their duck timing a 3 minute shower, prompting the comment (from a teen?): “Woah! I would have a hard time with three-minute showers.”Photo credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch (A woman takes a shower in a Toronto gym.)