Nissan Leaf ad makes fun of GM’s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 28, 2011

In the next two weeks, Nissan North America will be advancing its new campaign for its electric Leaf sedan to differentiate it from the other hybrids in the market. Nissan’s campaign will include a jab at its rival, the Chevrolet Volt from General Motors. Recently, both companies have talked about the limitations of the other’s technology.

The difference really is that while the Leaf is a pure electric vehicle, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid that features an electric motor and an electric generator that’s gasoline-powered.

In Nissan’s new TV spots, a Volt owner is seen at a gasoline station filling up the tank while across the street, a Leaf owner is unplugging a public vehicle charger.

According to Jon Brancheau, Nissan's vice president of marketing, the spots will attempt to let people know the difference between a full electric car and the rest of the gasoline-burning hybrids.

Nissan’s marketing material reveals that this new campaign will visualize a world where "everything runs on gas,” including cell phones, coffee makers, dental tools and even alarm clocks. They will all be seen emitting smoke. TV, Internet and print advertising will start to be seen this week.

On June 6, Nissan’s 60-second TV spots will start to air. The ads will start even as the Leaf still has to resolve several hurdles: the disruptions that resulted from the disaster in Japan and the slow production startup at a Nissan factory in Japan.

No one should ever take small things for granted as it can often lead to huge impacts. Inside the Nissan LEAF for example, is a connected mobility IT system. This exclusive IT system is state-of-the-art as it is always connected to a global data center which can give drivers the needed information, support, or even entertainment, for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chief Product Specialist Tooru ABE shares that by having its own IT system, it gives the LEAF a competitive advantage.

The company, he adds, wanted have a vehicle that would not only provide enhancement for its passengers but to actually act as the driver’s partner. ABE continues by saying that the company also required that this vehicle would jumpstart the creation of a zero-emission community and that by having these IT qualities, it is a step to making it happen.

Among the other features available is a monitor that is mounted on the dashboard. Through the monitor, the driver will able to see the nearest charging stations. It also allows the driver to see how much power is left in the LEAF. There is also a remote-controlled timer inside that can recharge the batteries by simply preprogramming it. One interesting feature is that the LEAF now allows mobile phones to be used in activating the air-conditioning or even the other charging function.

While other vehicles already have this, want makes the LEAF unique is that even when powered down, it can still be activated. Still on the interior, the LEAF utilizes bright trim colors resulting in a cabin that exhibits style in addition to being pleasurable. In particular, the new LEAF makes use of the calming blue earth color scheme. This is inspired by the Aqua Globe of the body of the first LEAF model. This style is evident all throughout the interior from the illumination of the instruments to the blue highlights of the dashboard. The exterior design has the same theme especially on the front portion.

Highlighting the style of the front for instance is the V-shaped design with headlights using light-emitting diodes placed in a slanting upward position. By making use of an internal reflective design in blue, it makes the LEAF appear as if to say that it is indeed a special car. However the headlights are not just about design as there’s also a functional aspect. The way it has been designed, it is able to divide the airflow and then redirect them away from its door mirrors. This helps lower the drag and even the wind noise. Another benefit is that since the headlights make use of LEDs, it only uses around 10% of the energy compared to standard lamps proving that the LEAF does have first-class range autonomy.

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