Nissan's New Mini-EV: Good for Your Short Game

It's the sleekest little golf-cart-sized thing you've ever seen. But is it what the EV industry needs?

Nissan New Mobility Concept

Nissan recently revealed a two-seat electric vehicle it's calling the "Nissan New Mobility CONCEPT." The car, pictured here, isn't ready for sale yet (and no price has been named); the company is still studying potential markets for such a small vehicle--amusement parks, perhaps.

Nissan's big forthcoming EV is the Leaf, which will hit the streets of the U.S. and Japan in December. The company intends to soon be producing 250,000 EVs per year, according to the AP. It's also partnering with government and companies--it has 80 partners this year, over just 30 from last year--and is setting up charging stations to build an infrastcuture for the Leaf.

One the one hand, this miniature, golf-cart-like car is cool, but on the other, it seems arguably a step back for the EV industry.

We already know we can make electric-powered golf carts. The challenge is to build an industry of cars like the ones we already drive, at the prices we already pay, with the top speeds and the ranges we already want. But the Nissan EV cart has a range of just 60 miles, and hits a top speed of about 50 mph.

"We don't want EVs to be a niche product," Nissan's corporate VP Hideaki Wanatabe told reporters recently outside of Tokyo, before hopping in and silently speeding around a showroom. Amen to that, Mr. Wanatabe, but for that reason we're more excited to see the Leaf rollout than this admittedly cute and stylish carlet.

[Image: Flickr user NISSANEV]

 

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