Category: ‘Electric Cars’

Nissan Leaf Selling Well, Charging Smarter… Still Losing Value

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

As our regular readers are aware, Nissan is putting quite a lot of faith in its all-electric Leaf. CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to put 1.5M electric vehicles on the road by 2016, and the Nissan Leaf is how he’s going to do it. In addition, the Leaf is an important car simply because it’s one of the pioneers for the automotive industry. For those reasons and more, we figured today we’d check in on the little EV and see what’s new.

Nissan Leaf

2nd Best Month for the 2nd Month in a Row

While we can all acknowledge that 1.5 million total sales in less than 3 years is probably unrealistic, the Nissan Leaf is still doing extremely well. It seems like it’s broken a new sales record every month this year. The best month ever was March with 2,236 sales. Then, Nissan had an awesome month in April with 1,937 Leaf EVs sold, the second-best month ever. But, the new second-best month ever was May with 2,138 Leaf sales, over 300% more sales than in May of 2012.

Nobody can deny that the Nissan Leaf is selling well. The car continues to gain popularity as it begins moving up the product diffusion curve from Innovators to Early Adopters – a 500% larger market, statistically. My guess is that these record-setting months will continue throughout 2013.

My Electric Avenue

In addition to improved sales, Nissan continues to refine their product offer with new innovations. Today, Autocar published a very interesting article detailing Nissan’s new My Electric Avenue project in the UK. This project is aimed at exploring relationships with electric companies that will become necessary if EVs ever gain widespread popularity.

I encourage you to read the article for yourself, but basically, My Electric Avenue will allow a small community of 10 drivers in the same neighborhood to lease a Leaf for £100 per month for 18 months. The goal of is for all 10 vehicles to charge on a regular power grid without overloading it, even if all 10 vehicles are plugged in at the same time (for example, in the evening after work). This will be accomplished by reallocating power distribution throughout low-use periods each night.

Okay, okay, My Electric Avenue isn’t the most exciting project in the world, but it’s a necessary one nonetheless. Plus, it just goes to show that Nissan is definitely playing a long game. And yet, despite this commitment to innovation…

KBB Projects Decreased Value for 2013 Leafs

Obviously, all cars decrease in value over time, but the difference is how much. At the end of 2011, Automotive News reports that Kelley Blue Book projected the 2012 Nissan Leaf to hold 40% MSRP after three years. However, the 2013 Leaf is only expected to retain 35% of its value.

This isn’t all gloom and doom, however. The decrease in projected value isn’t so much because of the Leaf itself, but because of the nature of used car buyers. KBB says that these economically-focused drivers just aren’t into electric vehicles yet. This makes sense, since if you’re buying a used car, you probably care about price more than emissions. Since electric vehicles are more expensive by default than their internally combusted counterparts, it’s to be expected that they wouldn’t do very well in that market. So, disappointing, but not really surprising.

At the beginning of this article we set out to update you on the Nissan Leaf, and as you can tell, all is going well. And, as an added bonus, while Nissan Leaf sales continue to improve, Chevrolet Volt sales continue to remain steady or decline. For those of you with a vested interest in Japanese cars, this is worth at least the smallest of fist pumps. Huzzah!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Japanese car news, and thanks for reading.

Additional source: Autoblog Green


Honda Fit EV Gets More Competitive With Cheaper Lease Agreement

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

As electric vehicles begin to gain more momentum among consumers (sort of), their market space also becomes more competitive. Honda certainly doesn’t mind this trend, as it has an excellent EV in the all-electric Honda Fit. However, even though the Fit is undoubtedly a top-tier EV, it doesn’t match up very well to the leasing options available from other manufacturers. For example, Fiat, Chevrolet AND Nissan all offer lease contracts for $199 per month, while Ford offers $284 per month. $200 per month seems to be a very reasonable price for many city drivers.

How much would it cost to lease a Honda Fit?

As of right now, $389 per month, almost double the price of its competitors. Obviously, this is a problem. Fortunately, it’s an easy one to fix. All Honda has to do is lower the price. So, as of June 1, you’ll be able to lease a Honda Fit for just $259 per month, a full 30% reduction in price.

Why $259 is Cheaper than $199

Our more mathematically skilled readers will notice a small problem here – $259 per month is more expensive than $199 per month. You may be asking, why reduce the price at all if you’re still going to charge 30% more than the competition?

The answer is twofold.

First, while the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500 and Chevy Spark all come in at under $200 per month, they each require a signing fee of either $999 or $1,999. The Ford Focus e isn’t much better with a fee of $929. The Honda Fit EV, however, only requires $259 paid upfront. Already, you can see that this would make up for several months of slightly higher payments.

But there’s more…

In addition to a cheaper signing fee, Honda will also offer several benefits to tenants that you won’t find when leasing any other electric vehicle. First, there is no mileage limit. No other EV lease agreement allows unlimited mileage; the maximum is 12,000 per year. Second, the Fit EV comes with collision coverage. This releases you of some potential financial responsibility. Lastly, the all-electric Fit comes with a free 240V charger unit (although installation is the buyer’s responsibility) and complementary routine maintenance by the local Honda dealership.

So, even though the monthly fee for the Honda Fit EV is about $60 more than the most competitive options on the market, it actually works out cheaper when the other factors are taken into consideration. If you want to see all of this data presented side-by-side, I highly recommend you check out this handy chart the folks over at Autoblog Green put together:

If you currently lease a Honda Fit EV, you’re in luck. This new rate will automatically be applied to any current lease agreements, starting June 1.

While the market for electric vehicles still has a long ways to go, this is a very encouraging sign for the industry. The fact that EVs are important enough to manufacturers to engage in a bidding war for best price can only be good for the consumer. And if you haven’t bought an EV yet (I’m guessing that’s most of us), maybe if you wait another year they’ll be even cheaper. Only way to find out is to wait and see!


Toyota Prius is Most Popular Hybrid Online – Nobody’s Surprised

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 30th, 2013

As new technologies develop, the auto industry is able to access data that it’s never had before. For the most part, this data is used to better familiarize automakers with their target customers. Sometimes, though, it’s used just to see who’s better.

20 years ago, automakers relied on surveys and focus groups to learn more about customers. But, those proved unreliable because respondents have a tendency to exaggerate if they think it’ll earn approval.

Then, the Internet happened and authentic customer reviews began to dominate the consumer experience. This resulted in some major innovations… For example, this is when automakers figured out that the interior matters just as much as the exterior design or technical specs, at least to most drivers.

Today, the newest pool of data is social media. With this new resource come new companies ready to analyze it, and that’s where GenSent Insights comes into the picture. According to Automotive News, this New York-based analytics firm performed an extensive study using social data from the months of January through April of this year. Their aim in this study? To assign a dollar amount to the social network exposure of the top 5 most frequently mentioned hybrid cars on the Internet.

So, all of that introduction to say this – the Toyota Prius is the most talked about hybrid online.

GenSent Insights says that Toyota’s “total media value” for the first four months of 2013 comes to $14.5 million. The second most popular hybrid came to $4.5 million. However, since this is so completely to be expected, we’re going to move on and discuss the other hybrids in the top five, two of which are Japanese … and one of which isn’t even a hybrid.

Here’s the list, complete with total media values, for the top five most frequently mentioned hybrids online. (For some reason they seem to think the Tesla is a “hybrid”):

1. Toyota Prius – $14.5 million
2. Honda Fit – $4.5 million
3. Chevrolet Volt – $3.1 million
4. Tesla Model S EV – $3 million
5. Honda Insight – $2.9 million

So, three out of the top five hybrids are Japanese-made, which is pretty neat. More impressively, if you look at it from a total media valuation standpoint, Japanese hybrids accounted for 78% of the total worth shared by the top 5 vehicles. Interestingly enough, GenSent says that the Nissan Leaf was the most well-liked low emissions car, but it didn’t have the widespread frequency to back it up.

For those of you skeptical about how you could assign real dollar value to a completely digital currency – if you can call social mentions currency – I assure you, there is a very complex formula. And I’m also sure that I don’t understand it at all. But I do know that it involves tracking the sentiment, frequency and source of social media mentions.

Obviously, this isn’t an exact science. There’s no way of knowing whether Toyota got $14.5 million worth of real exposure thanks to social media mentions alone. It would probably be safer to call it a points system than a valuation system, but nonetheless, the end result is the same – no one can dispute that the Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid in existence.

Source: Autonews, Autoblog Green


Infiniti’s Own EV Gets a Prerequisite Disclaimer: Induction Charging

Posted by Stephen On Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The Nissan Leaf has been picking up steam for the past six months. CEO Carlos Ghosn continues to maintain an optimistic stance towards the eventual dominance of EVs. Therefore, it was no surprise when Infiniti showed us the Infiniti LE – a luxury sedan version of the Nissan Leaf – at the New York Auto Show last year. What’s more surprising is the news that Infiniti’s Executive Vice President, Andy Palmer, revealed earlier this week: production of an Infiniti EV hinges on the accessibility of induction charging.

Induction charging, which is when an electromagnetic field is used to wirelessly transfer energy between two objects, is currently more available than you might believe. It’s just not present in the automotive industry. Think of all of the wireless charging pads for things like smartphones and video game controllers. The technology is there, it just needs to be magnified to bigger scale. Carscoops reports that there are induction experiments being performed around the world on anything from a quad-bike to a city bus, so it may not be far off.

Still, however far off widespread induction charging is, that’s how long we’ll have to wait for the Infiniti LE Concept to become reality. For Infiniti, there is no such thing as a luxury wired EV. Palmer explains, “The whole concept of not having to couple up cables to a plug socket, dragging them on the ground and on you as you go, is in keeping with luxury motoring.” In other words, no luxury car driver in his right mind would EVER want to deal with the hassle of manually charging an electric vehicle, which seems a bit silly when:

- The Tesla Model S is incredibly successful and relies on wired recharging.
- Even Bugatti owners are quite happy to put a petrol nozzle in their fuel filler cap to, so what’s the big deal about having to plug a car in?

More important than the development of induction charging, though, is the acceptance of induction charging. If the technology is not widespread, then it defeats the purpose. Palmer reiterates, “There is no world standard on methods, the roll-out will be dependent on region.” This would explain why Infiniti is so gung-ho about open source research when it comes to induction technology. They’d like the auto industry to collectively develop a solution to accelerate its acceptance across the globe.

Whether or not Infiniti ever gets to produce the LE Concept, I don’t actually think it’ll have a big impact on Nissan’s EV-related goals. The bulk of their sales will still be Leafs. But, I don’t blame them for trying to get more mileage out of their hard-earned Leaf architecture, which is what would be used in any Infiniti offspring.

Do you think that induction charging would make a difference in the acceptance of EVs as a whole? Or is this something that will only ever matter for luxury brands?

Or do you think that Infiniti is just scrabbling around for an excuse to avoid going head-to-head with Tesla?

Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Sources: Autocar, Carscoops


Live Japan Car Auction Sheet Translation Video #4

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

In today’s video, I take a look at a Nissan Leaf — the first electric car I’ve tackled in these videos. I also explain why the “ETC” you see in the sales points of the auction sheet doesn’t stand for “et certera”, as well as why it can be handy when the auction notes the dimensions of the car on the auction sheet.

Enjoy, and make sure you tell me in the comments what kinds of cars you would like me to cover in future auction sheet translation videos.

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Previous videos:

- Video #1 Mercedes SLK
- Video #2 Grade R Skyline
- Video #3 Toyota Prius


Ghosn Still Believes 1.5M EVs by 2016 – The Leaf Proves it

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In case you didn’t already know, Nissan is dead serious about electric vehicles. Not hybrids. Not fuel cells. Pure electric vehicles, that’s where it’s at. Or at least, so Nissan is convinced. They were convinced back in 2011 when they originally pledged to sell 1.5 million EVs, and they’re still convinced now after 62,000 total Leaf sales by the end of April, 2013.

The bold face of Nissan’s confidence? Passionate CEO Carlos Ghosn of course!

Carlos Ghosn still sees 1.5 million EV sales by 2016

Carlos Ghosn Still Says ‘Yes’ to 1.5 Million EVs

At a conference in Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters last Friday, Ghosn emphasized the Leaf’s acceleration in sales as the important variable to look at. He acknowledged that, yes, 62,000 sales isn’t very many, but the Leaf is on an upward trajectory – sales have doubled since this time last year. That’s where Ghosn is choosing to focus.

Still, even a man as determined as the CEO of the second largest Japanese car brand can be realistic. He knows that 1.4 million Leaf sales in 3 years is unlikely. He tactfully acquiesced, “I maintain the 1.5 million. I think it will be difficult to reach in 2016, but without any doubt it’s still on the radar screen.”

While anything more than 400K to 500K units is probably unreasonable to expect, Ghosn does have a point. Sales are increasing consistently, and the Leaf continues to become more affordable and more efficient.

2013 Leaf Gets Official EPA 115 MPGe Rating

Nissan independently estimated the 2013 Leaf’s fuel economy when the vehicle was first released. However, it’s taken several months for the EPA to do its undoubtedly vigorous testing and come to an official conclusion. The verdict? The Nissan Leaf is officially 15% more efficient than it was last year at 115 MPGe. On top of that, the new Leaf has a 5% larger single-charge range than the old one, and it does so with a 90% charge.

In addition to heightened efficiency, the 2013 Nissan Leaf is also safer than ever. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety it’s one of the safest vehicles currently on the market. Last Thursday the Nissan Leaf joined its distant relatives, the Altima and the Infiniti M37, on the IIHS’s Top Safety Picks for 2013.

And let’s not forget the most important improvement – the 2013 Leaf is cheaper than ever with a base price of $28,000. Depending on where you live, you can now get a brand-new Leaf for less than $20,000. There’s no denying that the improved economics have had an effect on sales.

In the end, I think we all know that 1.5 million Nissan EVs by 2016 isn’t going to happen. But, I like that Nissan and Ghosn are still fighting for it. 2016 is a long shot, but 2020… Who knows?

Sources: Autoblog Green, Autoblog Green, The Truth About Cars


Infiniti Planning a New Halo Car Emerg-E for “Little Emperors”

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

In customary automotive industry fashion, Infiniti has set their sights on a very specific customer that they want to engage with by 2016. They’re developing a brand-new hybrid sports car just for this audience; a car that will play a key part in increasing Infiniti’s sales 250% by 2020.

Infiniti Emerg-E

Selling to “Little Emperors”

So, who is Infiniti looking to target with their upcoming hybrid sports car?

26 to 29 year-old premium car drivers with one child and an affinity for green technology. Apparently, these buyers have absurdly high expectations and accept only the best without compromise. Infiniti’s executive vice president, Andy Palmer, informs us that “these customers are widely referred to as ‘little emperors’ – people who are used to getting what they want.”

Incidentally, this is a very similar crowd as the one catered to by Tesla’s Roadster. In fact, Palmer specifically emphasized that the new hybrid coupe would be, “like the Tesla sports car option, but with more flexibility in terms of range.” And, ironically, also like the Tesla, the Emerg-e also relies heavily on technology from development partner Lotus Cars in the UK.

To put it another way, Infiniti (along with the rest of the automotive industry) has taken notice of Tesla’s surprising success. Now, they want a piece of the pie. Therefore, they’re developing a premium option of their own with an extra twist – better range.

With intentions out of the way, what else do we know about Infiniti’s future luxury hybrid sports car?

The Realization of Essence and Emerg-e Concepts

Over the past several years, we’ve seen two relevant concepts from Infiniti. Namely, the Essence Concept unveiled in 2009 and the Emerg-e Concept unveiled in 2012 both preview this upcoming luxury hybrid.

The Essence Concept was a pure study car in celebration of Infiniti’s 20th anniversary. It was specifically unveiled with no production plans in place. Instead, themes and cues seen in the Essence Concept would influence later models. The Essence was the first concept to showcase a new Adeyaka design language, which will be realized in this future Japanese luxury car.

The Emerg-e, on the other hand, was unveiled with a hint of production feasibility. No promises were made, but a prototype was manufactured and unveiled in mid-2012. As a high-performance hybrid capable of running on pure-electric with a range of 300 miles, the Emerg-e is the car that directly previews what we’ll see coming in the next 3 years.

Because we know that the Emerg-e Concept previews the unnamed luxury hybrid coupe, we can make some basic speculation about powertrain specs. The Emerg-e used a 1.2L petrol engine paired with two separate electric motors capable of 402bhp, and that’s probably a pretty good place to start. We also know that the future coupe won’t use the GT-R’s monster engine because it would be, “not suitable for Infiniti.” In other words, the car needs to be quiet and smooth, like soft velvet. The ‘feel’ of the car is just as important, if not more so, than the performance.

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All in all, I’m excited to see what the Emerg-e Concept eventually turns into. This hybrid luxury coupe will be a great addition to Infiniti’s lineup, but they’ll need something more if they’re aiming for 250% growth in just 7 years. After all, there aren’t THAT many “little emperors” in the world, and there’s already stiff competition for their attention.

Sources: Autocar, Autocar, Autocar


The Toyota ME.WE Concept – A Car That Solves Problems

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

What if a single car could solve all the world’s problems?

According to Toyota, their new ME.WE Concept just might do it. Casting all modesty to the wind, Toyota has taken it upon themselves to develop a new “anti-crisis” car, which in and of its existence will solve economic, environmental, and even human challenges. The concept’s name apparently “expresses its simultaneous concern for personal well-being (ME) and that of others (WE).”

I know, tall order, right?

But, I know you’re curious. I was too.

How exactly is the Toyota ME.WE going to solve all these problems? What does this solution entail? Why does it have to look like a Styrofoam cooler? Well, it’s actually pretty cool. Or, if not cool, it’s at least new. We definitely haven’t seen anything like the ME.WE before.

ME.WE vs. Economic Challenges

The ME.WE is simple and light-weight. Apparently, the car only weighs 750kg because its architecture is made up of a tubular aluminum chassis fitted with polypropylene panels. This also means that the car is extremely easy to produce and thus extremely cheap. At least, as cheap as an EV can be. Which brings us nicely to…

ME.WE vs. Environmental Challenges

According to Toyota’s press release, the new ME.WE is supposed to be “an intelligent response to the ecological threats posed by mass production [of cars].” To address this concern, Toyota uses 100% recyclable body panels for the exterior, and organically grown bamboo for surfaces on the interior, including the floor. The car is also zero-emissions thanks to its pure electric powertrain, which we’ll talk more about in a sec’.

All of these features were chosen to enable the ME.WE to “help reduce the energy it consumes and the CO2 and harmful emissions it produces.”

ME.WE vs. Human Challenges

Last but not least, the Toyota ME.WE Concept is designed to enable each driver their own individuality. “ME.WE is a pick-up, convertible, off-roader and small city car in one.”

Stylistically, the ME.WE’s flexibility is accomplished through a modular design. The rear seat can be folded, the top can be taken down, and even the windshield can be lowered. The body panels are completely interchangeable and could easily be made in a wide range of styles. In theory, third-party vendors could manufacture and sell their own body panels to allow for total customization.

Mechanically, the ME.WE’s flexibility comes from its independently motorized wheels. With a motor powering each wheel, the car is capable of operating in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive. This i-Road inspired system is key in “allowing it to tackle rougher terrain than a traditional car.”

Sources: Autoblog, The Truth About Cars

Unfortunately, however you feel about the ME.WE, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to truly evaluate how well it solves the world’s problems. Even more so than the i-Road, this concept really is just a concept. It’s meant as a statement about where the automotive industry needs to go, not as a preview for a production model.


5 New Toyota Cars and Concepts Unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2013

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 25th, 2013

To uphold the Auto Shanghai 2013 trend of automakers recognizing the importance of the Chinese market, Toyota brought an astounding 52 vehicles to the motor show this week. Not all of them will make it into any market outside of China, but many of them will. Unfortunately, among the Chinese-exclusive vehicles unveiled was the Toyota FT-HT Concept, which is the first car we’ll be talking about today.

Toyota FT-HT Concept

First up, we have a flashy new concept called the Toyota FT-HT Yuejia (which means “Happy Family”). It’s a swoopy MPV with a hybrid powertrain – the same one that’s in the Prius. It’s aimed at Chinese drivers in their mid-20s and early 30s who are just starting a family.

What’s really cool about this concept, aside from its design, is the six-seat configuration, which has three rows of two individual seats each. The concept is confirmed to make it to production at some point, although we don’t know when, and again, it will be China-exclusive.

Toyota FT-HT Concept

The Ranz EV Concept

We unofficially heard about Ranz, Toyota’s new sub-brand, late last month. The new marquee’s first concept car was unveiled at Auto Shanghai. It’s name? The Ranz. Thus I give you the Ranz Ranz, a new concept EV for the FAW-Toyota joint venture.

The new Ranz concept is based on the Corolla sedan (in case you can’t tell), and is aimed at giving Chinese buyers an affordable zero-emissions EV.

Unidentified Sub-Brand EV Concept

Another EV debuted at Auto Shanghai right next to the Ranz EV. This one is also from a new sub-brand, but we don’t know its name. All we know is that this EV is based on the Camry, and is the result of a new JV with Guangzhou Auto.

China-Spec Toyota Yaris and Vios

Last but not least, Toyota debuted newly modified versions of the Yaris hatchback and Vios sedan. Personally, I think both of these cars turned out very well, with several distinct features that separate them from their non-Chinese counterparts, like new alloy wheels and reshaped headlights. Especially the exteriors; I feel both updated versions have an improved profile. The interior of both is, of course, very cleanly laid out too.

All in all, Toyota had a lot to say at Auto Shanghai 2013. With a booth occupying 4600m of space, obviously this article doesn’t cover every single vehicle they brought, but hopefully it gives you a taste of where Toyota wants to with the exploding Chinese market.

As always, thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for a final wrap up of Japanese cars at Auto Shanghai 2013.


Nissan Carefully Approaching Launch of Mobility Concept in Suburban Japan

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 5th, 2013

March was a great month for Nissan. The Nissan Altima sedan outsold the Toyota Camry for the first time in a year and a half, and sales across the board are up 1% since this time last year. The Nissan LEAF had a record-breaking 2,200+ sales, a massive increase over the EV’s second best month of 1,700 units back in early 2011. Nissan is also making plans to bring the LEAF to China to offer their affordable EV to yet another exploding market.

But, I don’t want to talk about any of that today. Instead, I’m going to take advantage of this between-auto-show lull and talk about a concept I’ve been aching to cover for a couple months now – the Nissan Mobility Concept.

What is the Nissan Mobility Concept?

The Nissan Mobility Concept is a four-wheel, pure electric vehicle capable of seating 1.5 people in tandem configuration. The NMC can reach speeds of 50 mph, and has a 62 mile driving range. It’s wheelbase is a mere 4 feet wide and a little under 8 feet long. The lithium ion battery can be fully charged from a regular socket in just 4 hours.

Well-read automotive enthusiasts will recognize the Nissan Mobility Concept as a very similar vehicle to the Renault Twizy, which was the best-selling EV in Europe during 2012. Currently, the biggest difference between the two EVs is the tires… The NMC even uses the same lithium ion battery as the Twizy.

So, what’s the point? Why is Nissan re-badging Renault’s Twizy?

What is Nissan’s Goal for the NMC?

Firstly, the Nissan Mobility Concept is launching in Japan, a completely different market from Renault’s Twizy. Plus, by the time the car finally launches in 2015 (estimated), we’re sure Nissan will have integrated a few other new features. At least, we hope.

Secondly, the NMC isn’t actually about the vehicle – it’s about the idea of economical and environmentally-friendly suburban transportation. Nissan has already partnered with Tokyu Corp. and Yokohama Mobility Project Zero, and their goal is to create a vehicle that integrates seamlessly with public transportation in what’s been dubbed ‘two-mode EV car sharing’, while also providing the ideal vehicle for small, local errands. It’s sort of like the Toyota i-Road in that regard, but about 2 years ahead of schedule.

In the US, this would be classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which is actually illegal in some cities. In Europe, the Twizy is classified as a heavy quadricycle, and the slower model can be driven without a license. In Japan, the NMC would currently be classified as a kei car, but Nissan is looking to classify it as something new.

So, what’s holding the NMC back from official launch in Japan? People. A representative from the Ministy of Transport made it clear that Nissan needs to teach people how to drive these small electric cars safely.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the NMC ever coming to the US. It seems we will be limited to the LEAF for several years yet, mostly because the regulations for these small electric vehicles are too rigid in too many states. But a guy can dream, can’t he? It looks like the NMC will be a hit when it finally does launch in Japan, just the Twizy has been in Europe.

Sources: Autoblog Green, The Truth About Cars, Wikipedia