Green Luxury: Fits 8 Adults!After the LEAF police car, here comes the LEAF limo! An hotel in Tennessee wanted something special to shuttle around its VIP guests, and since the average trip was less than 5 miles, they didn't need something with a huge driving range. The opted for something quite unique: A modified LEAF electric car, stretched into a luxurious limo that can accomodate 8 adults.
A company out of Missouri made the modifications. They kept most of the Nissan LEAF's essential parts intact. There is still just one battery pack, but it now sits in the back for balance. They added about 400 pounds in the center of the car to make room for more seating. And they added mirrors, plush leather and cedar paneling, synonymous with luxury limos.
Here's a video of it in action:
While one electric limo won't change too much for the environment, the idea behind this is good. Before people embrace a new technology, they need to get familiar with it. In the same way that people were hesitant at first about hybrids, but over time they got used to them because they saw more of them around (including in taxi and commercial fleets), the more people are exposed to electric vehicles, the better. The article about the hotel mentions that most passengers of the LEAF limo had never seen or been in an electric car before. Now, they might not rush out and buy one because of this, but it'll certainly feel more familiar, and be more on their mind, and they might follow developments in the field with more interest and later consider getting one.
In other words: Buying an electric car after just reading some reviews and doing a test-drive can feel like a big leap in the dark. But if you've ridden in electric taxis and seen electric delivery vans and see a few LEAFs around the neighborhood, it suddenly feels less risky. There is comfort in numbers.