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Great Minds Think Electric

May 9 – Los Angeles – The 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles (EVS26) is a show completely dedicated to electric vehicles in the newest shapes, colors, and sizes. This year’s event was the first time for both the Nissan LEAF and the Infiniti LE to sit side by side.

“It’s probably the strongest statement of the show,” said Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.

Infiniti LE and Nissan LEAF

Palmer is proud of the unparalleled commitment Nissan has made toward electric car technology. To date they’ve made a four billion dollar investment. Nissan jumped right to what Palmer called the “end game” by making the fully electric Nissan LEAF.

“Nissan is really leading in this technology and Nissan really owns this space,” said Palmer. Nissan has already sold 28,000 LEAFs world-wide. The Infiniti LE builds on that model, but stays true to the Infiniti experience. “I think with LE, what’s been shown is absolutely a genuine Infiniti. It’s beautiful, it displays all of the design characteristics of an Infiniti, yet it’s an electric car.”

At EVS26, Palmer joined a team of industry leaders to talk about going electric. He was one of five panelists invited to share insight.

“I would say Nissan is the most ambitious and the most aggressive and the most enthusiastic. So having a couple put the stake in the ground is really important when we’re trying to get the other ones to dip a toe in the water,” said EV advocate Chelsea Sexton.

EVP Andy Palmer (second from the right) at EVS26

Exhibits featured electric cars, buses, and even four-wheelers. Instead of the usual emphasis on how clean and green it is to go electric, car makers and drivers were more focused on the fun factor. The first day of the event the public was allowed to test drive electric cars.

Palmer said their greatest challenge has been educating the public. He said most drivers do not yet know how driving an electric car like the LEAF can transform their driving experience. “I think one of our challenges now is to go beyond the advocates that we see here today and start going toward the pragmatists, the people that will be looking at the car and saying actually this car makes a lot of sense for me because it’s a total cost of ownership.”

This year’s variety of electric options shown at EVS26, from cars to chargers to batteries, made it clear there’s been tremendous growth and increased interest.

“Our challenge now is to make sure that we continue ahead of the curve,” said Palmer.

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