03 August 2009

Nissan's Electric "LEAF"

Two milestone have passed. It's been over a month since I've taken delivery of Mini-E #339. And last Monday was my 42nd birthday.

I could wax poetic, nostalgic or even philosophical about these two "milestone" dates. How amazing is it that I'm still part of "the future" when it comes to transportation? I mean, I can still remember when I was a kid and I thought the year 2000 seemed "so far away"... How I'd be "old" at 33!!! But of course, so optimistic about the future!!!

"By then, we'll be vacationing in space and driving flying cars," we all thought!

Well, #339 is far from a "Magic Carpet" ride... But she comes pretty close.

And while I still think "flying cars" (a la "The Jetsons") is still pretty much a pipe-dream, I can't help but still smile when I get in #339 and thihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifnk, "Yes, this is the future of cars! It HAS TO be!"

Don't believe me? Consider these links and pictures:

(LA Times) Nissan's greener-than-chlorophyll EV: The LEAF

(Pop Sci) Test Drive: Nissan’s Leaf, The Electric Car’s First Shot at the Mainstream

So, by "late 2010" Nissan will have a 5-door electric hatchback that seats 4 and gets about 100-miles tot he charge. (Highly encourage readers to follow the above links to get the full story and to see pics of the LEAF -- essentially a battery-powered Versa.)

Best part: Nissan thinks it'll street at just "under $30K" -- and that's BEFORE any government incentives!!!

Of course, this spurs a LOT of questions in my mind -- one of which, in light of this development, shouldn't BMW/Mini EXTEND the Mini-E program beyond the one-year lease to us "pioneers"??? (I mean, hey, you gotta stay competitive out there, no???? Keep the fact that THEY -- BMW -- had an electric car out there BEFORE the Nissan, right???)

IN any case, it certainly shows to me that "electric cars" will have a big(ger) presence in 2010 and hopefully "jump start" (sorry) the future of cars.

Now if we could only work on that "vacation in space," thing....

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