2011 Nissan Leaf prototypeEnlarge Photo
Depending on what a person ingests, you can not only get gas, but depending on your intestinal fortitude, you may also emit a noxious form thereof. Cars, an invention by us simians in suits and shoes, have taken the same design path. Ingest, combust, emit. Maybe a different design is in order as we get enough noxious fumes everyday as it is.
Nissan and its partner Renault have bet the farm on cars going electric and thus abandoning the need for refined crude oil derivations, gasoline and diesel, once and for all in an automotive engine. We still need oil to make plastic and most of the junk food I eat. And it’s an idea that may be sinking in with Nissan’s Leaf on the road and Renault’s line of Zero Emission (Z.E.) cars that are currently launching. Not to mention the skyrocketing price of gas making everyone wince at fill-up time. Batteries seem way better than gasoline, no?
Of course there are limitations to batteries that are well known, such as range, capacity, weight, genuine environmental concerns such as mining the required minerals for batteries, recycling these things, and equally important for me, how will they actually handle the freezing winters where I live?
So given the very apparent downsides, Nissan needs to sell me on why a battery will be better than a gasoline or diesels engine, both of which are getting cleaner, smoother and more fun than ever (I love turbo engines and diesel torque). And the following ads are a good start. Nissan and Renault flip the argument on its head by showing you what the world might be like if everything we use now that’s powered by electricity (what isn't) were powered by gasoline. Quite frankly it’s brilliant when you watch them both.
You can see the creativity in these ad gems -- the coffee maker, the computer, the hair dryer, the microwave, the printer, copier -- all running on liquefied, refined dinosaur decay. I loved seeing the mechanic testing the oil dip stick and thought this ad agency really thought of the details. The absolute best is the dentist who has his chainsaw-like drill powered by gasoline. It makes you laugh when you see the main character hear the drill fire up in the waiting room. And then Nissan took it one step further to stick its electric finger in the competition’s eye, read: The Chevy Volt. Nissan takes great pains to show you the Volt filling up at a gas station as if it were a gas pig. The umbilical cord to the oil companies cannot be cut, while the Nissan and Renault both give you emissions-free driving.
Take no prisoners, Nissan.