Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO and general talisman, struts his stuff with the new electric Leaf – and promises three other EVs: a van based on the NV200, a compact, high-performance, luxury four-seat Infiniti (think Lexus LF-Ch or BMW 1-series) and an urban car inspired by the crazy Land Glider concept.
Yes, the leaning-over, futuristic looking Nissan Land Glider has some production intent, he vows. It looks like it’s been squished from both sides, and if you’re lanky them climbing in is quite a squeeze. It’s worth it for the unique perspective inside and quadricycle-style handlebars, but a glass roof and motor show lights making it very hot.
The thrust of Ghosn's message is the same as it has been for several motor shows now. He is pinning his colours firmly to the electric car mast (should that be pylon?).
'In the face of real-world challenges, Nissan is bringing solutions,' he thunders. 'The time is now for zero emissions. Sustainable mobility is within our grasp. Petrol, clean diesels and hybrids are merely evolutionary advances. The shortcut to the solution is the mass-marketing of affordable zero-emissions vehicles.’ Ghosn promises they should cost the equivalent of a petrol-powered car, and Nissan is also sorting a scheme to recycle the batteries.
The Leaf is claimed to be the world's first mass-market, feasible electric car. And partner Renault has four EVs on the cards for 2011-2012. There are only two worries: where’s the charging infrastructure and will anyone want one? If not, then it’s £3bn quid down the drain.
Also new is the Fuga – a Nissan version of the new Infiniti M – and the snappily-named NV200 Vanette Universal Design Taxi. Essentially, it’s a taxi.