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Plugging into the Future

Dec. 20 – Tokyo – If a company or organization isn’t thinking “green”, it’s time to go back to school.

That was the message of Eco-Products 2012, a 3-day event attracting nearly 180,000 visitors – including over 30,000 children.

Hundreds of exhibitors showcased products, technologies, services and programs, advancing innovation and sustainability across a wide spectrum.

This year, Nissan focused on teaching children that electric vehicles go beyond mobility, powering homes and the community.

An extension of Nissan’s “Waku-waku Eco School” activities – a regular program about the environment for kids – children built toy electric vehicles at the booth, churned a hand-charger, and watched their cars run on a track and power lights on a town diorama.

“EV batteries can use natural energy to charge and that’s the kind of energy that can be supplied. The car is not only for the home, but for the community, for the society. That’s the message we want children to understand, so we made the diorama to demonstrate it,” said Masahiko Iwasaki, manager in Nissan’s Environmental Management Group.

Adults may be running the show, but it seems they could learn a lot from children, says Iwasaki.

“Today’s kids have a good understanding of environmental issues. They understand global warming very well. I think many of them even know that energy can come from EVs and can be used in homes. That’s quite a surprise. Much more than adults, kids know what needs to be done for the environment,” said Iwasaki.

The Nissan LEAF was a cornerstone of the green message.

“You can charge the EV at your house, too. Without going all the way to the gas station, you can charge the car at your house. I think that’s great.”

For kids and adults alike, that’s one lesson worth living.


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