For those of us in the thick of the next generation transportation movement, the Nissan LEAF is one hell of an important vehicle.
Along with the Chevy Volt, and, to a lesser extent, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, it is one of the very few cars that can lay claim to being the first mass market EV for the globe. On top of that — with a price after federal tax credits of about $25,000 — the LEAF has the distinction of being the first affordable EV in that category as well.
So, a couple weeks ago, when I was approached by Nissan and asked if I wanted to come to Japan and be one of the first five non-Nissan employees in the world to drive a pre-production LEAF on Nissan’s test track in Yokohama, I was honored to accept. Along with a few industry analysts and EV advocates, I’ll be the only writer/blogger on hand at the event. I know, holy crap, right? I have no words to describe my excitement.
I’ll be in Japan all week and, along with the LEAF test drive I’ll have a chance to chat over lunch with Nissan’s CEO, talk with Nissan designers about the future of Nissan EV designs, and I’ll be getting a tour of Nissan’s historical vehicle archive museum. I’m also going to pig out on sushi… oh, sweet sushi, how I do love you.
So, check back here next week for exclusive pics, video and lots of coverage of this important event. You won’t want to miss it. I’ll also be covering the event for PlugInCars.com, and I promise, I’ll try not to let the jet lag show.
If you have any issues you want me to ask about or anything you want me to look for during my test drive, please let me know in the comments. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get answers, but I can sure try.