Of all the countries currently pushing towards a future in electric vehicles, the mainstay Japanese automobile manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are prepared to deliver some of the more interesting concepts. Nissan in particular has jumped into the market with both feet as they are preparing for the eventual full release of the Nissan LEAF onto 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 New Mobility. The New Mobility, currently only a concept vehicle, was first shown 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 Nissan does not intend for it to be used on highways or as a larger car substitute. With a range of only sixty two miles and a top speed of around forty seven miles per hour, the New Mobility could be ideally suited for use in small urban areas in Japan or for uses at certain types of businesses that require the maintenance or security of large tracts of land.
The New Mobility, aside from being one of Nissan’s newest electric vehicle projects, also represents their partnership with French automobile manufacturer Renault. The New Mobility’s electric systems are all of Renault design while the overall design and concept of the vehicle comes from Nissan’s concepts. The reveal of the concept also served as a nice ending to Nissan’s announcement that they will be working with Renault to produce a total of 250,000 electric vehicles in the coming year along with 50,000 batteries for electric vehicles. With both companies working towards a similar goal, there is little doubt that 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 New Mobility concept that they were still trying to determine pricing and the exact uses. Possible uses Watanabe did mention were for use by Yokohama in certain city based projects or for use in amusement parks. To help promote the use of electric vehicles and the eventual sale of the New Mobility, Nissan is planning on looking into installing more than 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 own electric vehicles they should expect to see some return while also spreading electric vehicle awareness. As for the New Mobility, only time will tell what use Nissan will be able to find for it and then figure out how to market it.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.