Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Gassing about electric cars
Would you buy a car that only goes 100 miles (160 km) on a tank of fuel?
That’s the range of Nissan’s 5-seater electric car planned for sale in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 – a similar size to Nissan’s Primera or VW’s Golf.
A full tank in a petrol-driven car will take you around twice that distance so the new technology that Nissan hopes will leapfrog current hybrids won’t be for those who disappear up the mountains each weekend.
But 90 percent of car users drive less than 100 miles each day, says Andy Palmer, Nissan’s senior vice president and head of product planning. So if you’re OK with a town or city run-around, you can plug it in to recharge once you get home.
And future generations will have more range, Palmer told the Reuters Japan Investment Summit, as battery technology improves.
Nissan has the car under wraps until it unveils a final prototype on August 2. Palmer says driving it is quite a surprise — with torque akin to a 2-litre gasoline engine and acceleration with zero noise.
That, Palmer says, is relatively straighforward to fix.
“Starting with zero noise, it’s very easy to add noise. Normally automotive engineers have the opposite problem.”
Annoying beeps are probably out, so what would you like your new electric car to sound like?
Photo credits: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen and REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon