Of all the countries currently pushing towards a future in electricvehicles, the mainstay Japanese automobile manufacturers like Toyota,Nissan, and Honda are prepared to deliver some of the more interestingconcepts. Nissan in particular has jumped into the market with both feet as they are preparing for the eventual full release of the Nissan LEAFonto the American and Japanese markets at the end of this year. However, while the LEAF is ready to take the electric vehicle market by storm,Nissan still is working away at other plans.
Nissan’s latest foray into electric vehicles is not meant to be the next great family sedan or even a stylish sports car like many would expect. Instead, the company has announced a concept for the small NewMobility. The New Mobility, currently only a concept vehicle, was firstshown by Corporate Vice President Hideaki Watanabe at a conference meant to outline Nissan’s future plans for electric vehicles and technology.The New Mobility is a small go-kart like two seat vehicle that Nissandoes not intend for it to be used on highways or as a larger carsubstitute. With a range of only sixty two miles and a top speed ofaround forty seven miles per hour, the New Mobility could be ideallysuited for use in small urban areas in Japan or for uses at certaintypes of businesses that require the maintenance or security of largetracts of land.
The New Mobility, aside from being one of Nissan’s newest electricvehicle projects, also represents their partnership with Frenchautomobile manufacturer Renault. The New Mobility’s electric systems are all of Renault design while the overall design and concept of thevehicle comes from Nissan’s concepts. The reveal of the concept alsoserved as a nice ending to Nissan’s announcement that they will beworking with Renault to produce a total of 250,000 electric vehicles inthe coming year along with 50,000 batteries for electric vehicles. Withboth companies working towards a similar goal, there is little doubtthat the impact on the electric vehicle market will be positive and that profits will be high.
Vice President Hideaki Watanabe noted after the display of the NewMobility concept that they were still trying to determine pricing andthe exact uses. Possible uses Watanabe did mention were for use byYokohama in certain city based projects or for use in amusement parks.To help promote the use of electric vehicles and the eventual sale ofthe New Mobility, Nissan is planning on looking into installing morethan eighty new charging stations around the world as well as installing electric charging stations at a slew of Nissan dealers.
Overall, with Nissan making a strong effort to promote their ownelectric vehicles they should expect to see some return while alsospreading electric vehicle awareness. As for the New Mobility, only time will tell what use Nissan will be able to find for it and then figureout how to market it.