Nissan Joins Tennessee in Electric Car Initiative

The electric motor movement continues to rev its lithium powered engine in the face of high gas prices.  Nissan announced its ambitious partnership with the state of Tennessee to better understand how to make the US an electric nation.

The Nissan Cube is an electric vehicle that Nissan hopes to release before 2012.

Last week, Nissan Motors announced a partnership with the state of Tennessee to study what transportation framework will be required to integrate electric cars into the global transportation economy.  Nissan hopes that the study will provide insight that will allow them to market their electric cars globally by the year 2012.

What Nissan lacks in hybrid technology, they are attempting making up for with electric foresight (Nissan has some smaller, more efficient cars, but none have hybrid technology).  The company is banking on a high demand for zero emission vehicles and has taken the necessary steps to facilitate the use of electric vehicles.  Nissan recently announced they will sell electric cars in the US in 2010 with plans for another electric vehicle to be globally released in 2012. There will be no backup combustion engines in any of Nissan’s electric vehicles.

Nissan’s partnership with Tennessee will hopefully show us what kinds of changes are needed to accommodate the electric vehicle.  We tend to forget about this whole infrastructural shift that would be required if we move away from combustion engines, and it’s hard not to.  Electric cars offer a new freedom from oil, but their fate will be determined by the freedom of the consumer.  In order to attract electric drivers, things like charging stations and electric vehicle lanes need to become state standards.  And then who should control this shift in infrastructure?  Is it a federal mandate?  States rights?  Perhaps neighboring Kentucky wants nothing to do with electric cars.  Maybe they do, but they don’t want to use the same voltage charging stations as Tennessee.  Maybe the federal government would think whole idea is stupid and we should just use oil…

The list of issues can go on and on, but the point is that Nissan has taken the initiative to help the US become a better place for electric vehicles.  If things work out, Nissan will definetly make up for their lack of hybrid technology.

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Photo Credit: Adam_D, under Flickr’s Creative Commons License


Anthony Cefali

Anthony is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in biology as well as English. He became interested in the biofuel initiative after getting a job in the Raines Lab of Petroleum Alternatives at the university turning sugars into biofuels. He is the first to admit that he doesn't fully understand everything that he does or is trying to do, but enjoys doing his bit to help the environment. Anthony has very few plans for his future, but is interested in how natural systems work and how urban development changes these systems. On a good day, Anthony enjoys riding his bike really far away and reading Kurt Vonnegut books.