March 20, 2012
LEAF strikes a chord with Ryuichi Sakamoto
Composer, actor and soon-to-be Nissan LEAF owner Ryuichi Sakamoto joined 140 drivers of the groundbreaking electric vehicle at a first owners’ event Sunday in Tokyo’s Daiba district. During the event, the Academy Award winner took time out to speak with the Global Media Center about the growing role of EVs.
Q1. How do you feel about taking delivery of an electric car?
I think the LEAF is the very first step for the history of the EV. We have the car, which has driven with fossil fuels for the past 100 years. This will be a step for the next century, the next 100 years. I think it’s revolutionary.
For me personally, I want to be the first driver of the LEAF in Manhattan. People may be very surprised to look at a car without a bumper. How do I plan to use it? As you know, we go shopping over the river to New Jersey maybe one a week or every two weeks. So maybe for that.
Q2. How do you think EVs will be used in New York compared with Tokyo?
Well, I haven’t actually seen many LEAF drivers in the U.S. yet. I’m sure there will be many in the next few years. But, as you know, New Yorkers always like something new. And also, right now, New York is changing a lot to become a sort-of eco-town. The lanes for cars have shrunk and there are more lanes for bicycles. Also, they’re trying to facilitate the yellow cabs powered by EV and hybrids in the next four or five years.
Also, New York City is doing a project with the tidal-wave power plant on the Hudson River and East River. I think, all of a sudden, New York is becoming something very different from the past.
Q3. Do you think EVs will change the relationship between people and the way they think about energy?
Definitely. My vision is that maybe in another 20 years electricity will be made by each home, each person or maybe by a small community—not like dams or nuclear power plants, which are huge and [rely on] long cables supplying power to millions of people. That’s very old-style, the 20th century style of supplying power.
The 21st century way must be with power made individually and used individually. That’s safer and, I think, more cost-effective—smart.
Of course, each individual makes power at home, and it can be shared by smart grids. So I think that’s the new way.