Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

How Leo DiCaprio started a car company

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Henrik Fisker, the storied car designer who has shaped Aston Martins, Fords and BMWs, told the Reuters Autos Summit this week that he now wants a starring role in the green revolution.

But he also wants to make the world safe for sports cars for generations to come.

“Being a car enthusiast and loving cars, to be quite honest, I could not imagine a life without a beautiful, fast sports car,” Fisker said. “I needed to do something to make sure that I could drive one of those nice cars, my children could drive one of those beautiful, fast cars.”

So what was Fisker’s inspiration? What was the epiphany when he realized that the world was ready for the upcoming Fisker Karma, a $90,000 plug-in hybrid with 50 miles of all-electric fun?

Gassing about electric cars

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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.

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