Nissan’s “Life with EV” wins “Good Design Gold Award 2010”

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced that its "holistic approach to promote the adoption of Nissan LEAF electric vehicles and zero-emission mobility" was selected for the "Good Design Gold Award 2010" hosted by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization.

Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-market electric car with lithium ion batteries employs a design concept called "Smart Fluidity", with the main body achieving the ultimate level of flowing lines and aerodynamics externally while absorbing the compact lithium-ion battery beneath the floor internally.

Its uniquely elegant exterior styling with a low front end characterized by a V-shaped design, large LED (light-emitting diode) head lights and recessed charging port give it that exclusive Nissan EV look. Adding to this distinct persona are advanced electronic devices such as a flat panel center cluster for the special IT system, an easily operated mouse-type electric shift lever and futuristic interior design.

This award was given not only because of admiration for the design of the vehicle but Nissan’s overall holistic approach to design "Life with EV". In this approach, Nissan, aiming to promote a sustainable zero-emission society, is working on forming partnership with countries, cities and electricity firms, production of lithium-ion batteries, second-life use of used batteries, use of recycled materials for EV, production and sales of self-developed quick chargers, developing charging infrastructure and standardization of charging methods.

*Good Design Award is the only comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design in Japan. Created to select and publicize good design to raise the standard of living, spur industrial development and export trade by enhancing product quality through design, the award receives more than 3,000 submissions every year. These are assessed from a comprehensive view point including design novelty and sophistication, value creation and social contribution.

The chief executive of the Renault-Nissan automotive alliance said Monday they plan to produce and sell 500,000 electric vehicles a year around the globe by the end of 2013.

Carlos Ghosn, who leads Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. and France’s Renault SA, said he was optimistic that consumers will warm to electric cars as his companies take a major plunge into the zero-emission vehicles. In December, Nissan is releasing the Leaf electric car, with a range of 100 miles, in the United States and Japan.

Nissan and Renault have been on the vanguard of producing electric vehicles and have made electric cars a key part of the automotive alliance’s strategy. General Motors is introducing the Chevrolet Volt this year, which uses an electric battery for the first 25 to 50 miles and a small gasoline tank to create an additional charge for another 300 miles. Other automakers are developing similar electric vehicles.

Ghosn said Nissan and Renault would have four electric vehicles models each by 2013. Along with the Leaf, Nissan’s electric lineup would include a commercial vehicle, a small city car and a luxury vehicle. The automaker plans to build 200,000 battery packs and 150,000 electric vehicles in Tennessee and will build the vehicles elsewhere around the globe.

Ghosn said the automaker’s research has found that 10 percent of buyers around the world want an electric car. He said Nissan will be constrained only by its production capacity for the Leaf during the next three years. After that initial period, Ghosn said he was hopeful the cars could be competitive with traditional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines without any government incentives.