Ok, so if you’re not a football fan you might have missed the debut of Nissan’s incredibly clever and moving commercial for the Leaf.
I can’t deny that the marketing behind this commercial is brilliant. The commercial tugs on my heartstrings and makes me want to do something, anything, to help that polar bear.
But if I hadn’t heard the roundtable discussion on NPR a few weeks ago, largely centered around Nissan’s Leaf, I would probably believe this car is a timely answer to our global warming problems. The Leaf gets 100 miles to the charge (far better than Chevy’s Volt, which gets a measly 40 miles before you have to kick on the gas engine) and has zero emissions.
First, I can’t deny that buying electric is a smarter move than guzzling oil with a huge SUV. But as I wrote a few weeks ago, the greenness of electric depends largely on where you live.
Stop and think about this for a moment. Electric cars depend on electricity to get around. Obvious fact, but bear with me. If your local power plant uses coal, then you’re actually polluting more with your all-electric car than you would with a hybrid car. 27% more.
There’s an incredibly fierce but interesting discussion going on over at Copyranter about this commercial. Some people think the Nissan Leaf is a great thing. Others think that it’s too little too late, that Nissan is being hypocritical for offering an eco car and then churning out millions of gasoline powered cars.
Personally, I can’t fault Nissan for going green with the Leaf. How can I? They’re trying to make cars less polluting. Leaf isn’t going to change the world. And once you factor in disposal issues with the battery pack, it still might only be marginally green than a gasoline powered car. But it is a first step, a shift in the right direction.
What do you guys think about this? After having watched the commercial, do you agree with the camp that says Nissan can’t possible make a difference? Would you buy the Leaf, or hold out for the next wave (which will surely be able to go farther than 100 miles on a single charge)? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!