Squared Off Nissan Goes Electric

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The Nissan Cube has gone “denki”. Which doesn’t mean it’s gotten dinkier, as I initially thought. It turns out that “denki” is Japanese for “electric”.

While virtually indistinguishable from the automaker’s current Cube design – at least on the outside, what makes the Denki concept car different from its brother, the production model Cube, is, you guessed it – it’s electric. According to The NewsMarket, “the Denki features an electric motor with laminated lithium-ion batteries located under the floor and seats while the current model includes a 1.3-liter inline 40 cylinder gasoline engine.”

The other primary difference between the Cube and the Denki is the missing row of seats in the latter car – which, combined with a stretched wheelbase, was necessary to accommodate the lithium-ion battery cells.

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Geography meets geometry, as the Nissan Media Site says. (The world is round, the cube is square and the car promises to travel the world.) “The Denki Cube Concept is boxy yet charming, fashionable and functional, and completely tuned in to today’s needs for enjoyable efficiency,” says Nissan North America’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, Al Castignetti — adding that it’s “a fun way to expose American buyers to one of Nissan’s most popular home market cars at a time when fuel economy and packaging efficiency are on a lot of people’s minds.”

This is great news for Nissan fans like me, who are excited about the company’s Green Program 2010 and the considerable strides they’ve made toward producing more energy-efficient vehicles. The program “provides a transparent view of Nissan’s future commitments to all aspects of environmental management,” according to Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, NML. “Nissan Green Program 2010 has been designed to address immediate challenges as well as creating the foundation towards a long-term sustainable business model.”

Nissan’s forward thinking in itself isn’t incredibly earth-shattering, but what’s news to me is the fact that Nissan began working on electric cars as far back as 1947. We could (and should) have had EVs decades ago.

The Nissan Denki cube premiered at the New York International Auto Show.

(via The NewsMarket and Nissan Media)

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