Nissan recently started testing its New Mobility Concept vehicles using a novel testing method; lending them to mothers in an effort to determine whether the vehicles were useful in taking the kids to school, doing the shopping, and running errands.
The seven mothers took the vehicles out to shop in the snow after fully charging them for 4 hours using their household power outlets. After two laps, one of the mothers said she wanted to take it home. She said that she owns a big, eight-seat car, and that the Nissan New Mobility concept is less of a hassle to drive around for minor errands such as shopping on the narrow streets of urban areas in Japan because it is so compact.
Many people question the safety of small vehicles in general, especially this type, as well as vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, Renault Twizy, and subcompact cars in general. The small size of these vehicles does mean that they have less crumple room, however. Nonetheless, I seldom hear about the safety benefits of these vehicles.
Much of the safety benefits stem from the light weight of small vehicles, which is why they are less accident prone than large vehicles. Another safety benefit of the Nissan Concept is that the sides are open, so if there is an accident, the passengers can crawl out, instead of being trapped by the doors of typical cars.
Japan is currently scrambling to replace its nuclear power plants, and it is largely doing that with solar power plants, although the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity increased due to nuclear power plant outages.
Electric vehicles complement solar power plants nicely because they contain large batteries which can capture energy from the solar power plants at any time, provided that they are not already fully charged.
They can then back up the electricity grid by supplying it with power when there are solar power fluctuations caused by cloudy weather, instead of using natural gas, gasoline, or other fossil-fueled plants.
Nissan said these vehicles will be tested by the mothers for two weeks, and, according to the video, these vehicles could be ready for launch after a three-year trial.
Source: Autoblog Green
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