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First Look: Nissan Townpod

Clean urban mobility.

by on Sep.30, 2010

Nissan Chief Operating Office Toshiyuki Shiga reveals the maker's latest battery car concept, the Townpod.

One thing you can say about Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both Nissan and its alliance partner, Renault, he’s determined to prove there’s a serious market for electric vehicles.

While the Japanese maker’s first battery car, the Leaf, is still a few months away from launch, Nissan was talking up other ideas for green mobility during the Paris Motor Show preview – and backing its words up with an all-new concept for clean urban mobility, the Townpod.

“The journey to zero emission is just beginning,” suggested Ghosn’s top lieutenant, Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga, as the covers lifted off the battery-electric vehicle, or BEV.

Under the skin, the Townpod shares it’s electric drive system with the Leaf, meaning a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack driving a single electric motor.  (Click Here for’s review of the 2011 Nissan Leaf.)

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As with Leaf, Townpod would be expected to deliver about 100 miles range and take about 8 hours to recharge using a 220-volt charger.  Performance also would likely be described as “brisk” from 0 to around 35 mph, thanks to the torquey performance of electric drive systems.

“It is designed to offer zero-emissions mobility to a future generation of home-based, innovative entrepreneurs who are creative and tech-savvy. It is more than just a car and it’s more than just a van – it heralds a new-era of flexible, stylish vehicles that will bring electric-vehicle mobility to the masses,” the company explains.

Painted in bright Stratospher White, the Nissan Townpod looks, for all purposes like it’s smiling.  The brand badge, up front, covers the charger port.  That cover displays a hint of electric blue, as do the door handles, headlight surrounds and door handles.

Inside, Townpod echoes the high-tech feel of Leaf, with two LCD screens, one serving as instrument panel and the other handling ancillary features, such as climate control and navigation.  The navi system not only displays the range of the Leaf, at any moment, by showing where you can reach before running out of battery, but also indicating rechargers available along the way.

While Nissan officials sidestepped questions about a production Townpod, Ghosn has made it clear that the maker will have an assortment of different battery-electric vehicles following Leaf to market over the coming years.

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