Summit Notebook

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.