March 27, 2012
Touring Tohoku in a Nissan LEAF (part 2)
To coincide with CEO Carlos Ghosn’s visit to Nissan’s engine plant in Iwaki this week, the Global Media Center hired a LEAF electric car to get an on-the-road view of the Tohoku region’s ongoing recovery. Here’s the second installment from our road trip.
Day 2 (continued)
March 26, 6:00 pm
After a largely sunny day, it’s now starting to snow but we’re making good progress in our LEAF and have time to stop for a few minutes en route. The team buy warming imokomachi, or steamed sweet potato buns.
We arrive at another Nissan Prince dealership for our latest recharge. This time it’s the impressive Taiheiji branch in Fukushima city, where we find a few minutes to translate an interview with Nissan Iwaki plant manager Masaru Nomoto. Here’s the video.
After 30 minutes at the dealership, we’re fully charged and back on the road, with thoughts increasingly turning towards dinner. The LEAF has 160 km of energy on hand—twice what we need to reach our hotel in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
After a long, but enjoyable, day, we finally make it to one of Sendai’s famous gyutan restaurants after dropping off the car for an overnight power top up at the Sendai Trust Tower across the street from our hotel.
With recommendation from one of our followers on Twitter, we’ve selected a restaurant open late enough to try everything we need.
The beef tongue dishes are as tasty as everyone has promised (as was the sashimi).
It’s a cool but pleasant day in Sendai. After breakfast, it’s my time to get behind the wheel of the LEAF for the short drive to the prefectural government office for our interview with Miyagi prefecture Governor Yoshihiro Murai.
Governor Murai records a short interview, which we will post on Nissan’s website soon. The governor discusses how he’s working to help Miyagi and the wider Tohoku region to continue their recovery from last year’s disasters, with plans for longer-term development.
Off camera, we ask about plans to install EV quick chargers at prefectural offices and for a charging network in the region. Governor Murai says there is a plan in place to roll out more chargers, but the investment was delayed following the earthquake last year.
The governor says the prefecture will add more chargers and may even promote EVs and hybrids as part of a car-sharing scheme.
We return the LEAF to our hotel. There’s plenty of energy left so no need for a quick charge.
Deputy Editor, Global Media Center