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Who Screened the ‘Electric Car’?

The Global Media Center travels to the Japan premier of “Revenge of the Electric Car”

Interested in the future of automobile transport? Check out Chris Paine’s Revenge of the Electric Car, which had its Japan premiere Thursday.

The documentary was shown at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and stars Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, among others. How did we travel there? By Nissan LEAF, of course.

Our ride in the basement of Nissan's global HQ

On the road

My ride from Yokohama to Tokyo was with the Nissan Global Media Center’s Dan Sloan and Global Chief Marketing Manager for EV, Kazuchika Nakamura.

Actually, it was my first time in an electric car. How was it? Quiet, smooth and relaxing – even driving through one of the most hectic, densely-populated cities in the world.

In fact, inside, the car was positively cuddly. The soft seats seemed to soak up what little noise there was. For some reason, an image of the Catbus in My Neighbor Totoro kept popping into my head.

On the dashboard a cute little electric charger graphic showed how much range was left in the battery – 140km (87 miles) – plenty for a trip from Yokohama to Tokyo and back.

But, back to the film, check out the trailer below. It’s a fantastic, fast-paced account of the bumpy ride EV cars have had over the last few years. And it is as much about the huge personalities – including General Motor’s Bob Lutz and Tesla’s Elon Musk – as about the cars themselves.

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The showing at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo

It’s a sequel to Paine’s 2006 film, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” – the story of how electric car development screeched to an abrupt stop in the ’90s.

It is certainly accelerating now. As Nakamura-san said in his introduction to the film, “Electric cars are the way forward. Why electric? If we can generate electricity through renewable energy, we will have achieved zero emissions.”

Some handy facts from CEO Ghosn, courtesy of Nakamura-san: So far, the 20,000 LEAFs sold have traveled 57 million kilometers. That means 3 million liters of gasoline have been saved, which translates into 7,350 tons of CO2.

The LEAF's dashboard show's the number of km left in the battery

Tony McNicol

Global Media Center

Cars, Technology, Zero Emission

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