We want our ZEV

A chap using the handle “vin7619” sends some advice to Nissan on how to market the Leaf, an all-electric zero-emissions vehicle:

Don’t be afraid to market to the mainstream by emphasizing handling, acceleration, and comfort. However, to appeal to this much bigger market, you have to make an economic argument and forget the save the world nonsense. Stress lower fuel costs and lower maintenance costs. Fund a survey that compares the costs of an EV versus ICE and throw lower maintenance costs into the equation (I haven’t seen this mentioned yet in comparisons sponsored by the traditional auto makers).

To some extent, Nissan understands this: the most recent print ad I saw for the Leaf was all about torque. (As rival Mazda is wont to say, “Zoom zoom.”) Suggestion: a pitch containing the phrase “fewer moving parts.” Heck, my car has two dozen presumably-pricey valves. Nobody likes replacing parts on modern-day Incomprehensimobiles.

Further suggestion: Since the Leaf is considered a zero-emissions vehicle — yeah, I know, all that electricity comes from a power plant somewhere — the main reason for the infamous Malfunction Indicator Light (aka “Check Engine Light”), failure to meet emissions specs, ceases to exist. If you hate the MIL as much as I do, you’ll see this as a sure-fire selling point.

As for our writer’s motivation, he’s up front about it:

In offering this advice, I’m not being altruistic. I want to see electric cars take over the world so we can tell the loose collection of mental patients in the Middle East to pound sand. I also want to make a lot of money on Nissan stock.

Works for me, at least until my next road trip. Maybe by then they’ll have chargers every few miles.

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