Is Nissan promoting LEAF + renewables enough?

leaf-windmillseditors-blog-entry3About a week ago, I wrote an entry (‘Yes, EVs can plug into renewables!’) in which I lauded smaller electric car makers like CODA Automotive and Tesla Motors for being way out in front of the larger automakers like Nissan and GM in advocating for the EV + renewable energy mix.

Tesla, which immediately greets visitors to its web site with a picture of a Roadster speeding by a wind turbine farm, is really playing up the EV + renewable energy mix.

Meanwhile, you’ve really got to dig to find any sort of direct connection to renewable energy made on Nissan’s LEAF web site.

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In fact, it’s difficult to find anything at all linking EVs directly to renewable energy on the LEAF site, although I did recently discover that one of the stops on the upcoming LEAF Drive Electric Tour, which will be offering prospective LEAF buyers the opportunity to test drive a LEAF before they plunk down thirty grand for it, will be at SolarWorld in Oregon.

Of course, just because Nissan doesn’t appear to be playing up EVs + renewable energy on its main LEAF web site, doesn’t mean it isn’t doing so elsewhere. There’s the new Nissan Polar Bear ad (officially, the ad’s called ‘Innovation for the Planet’), which closes with the main character, a polar bear who’s traveled south from melting ice in the Arctic, giving a LEAF owner a bear hug in his driveway.

The environmental message in this ad is done subtly – and renewable energy forms like solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, etc. aren’t shown.

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A SolarChargedDriving.Com reader just brought my attention to a YouTube video posted in late July 2010 that promotes the LEAF. This video – which provides a four-and-half-minute window in on the basic workings of the LEAF — does indeed directly link the LEAF to renewable energy, closing with a shot of a LEAF driving into a wind turbine farm, presumably in the UK (that’s where parts of the ad appear to be shot). However, this video doesn’t seem to be an official Nissan produced ad. And, as far as I can tell, there is no link from the main Nissan LEAF web site to this video.

Still, it’s great to see a video actively and directly linking the LEAF to renewable energy, even if it hasn’t been officially produced by Nissan or its advertising agency. If this video is in fact an official Nissan ad, kudos to Nissan. If it’s not, let’s hope someone high up at Nissan sees it and starts thinking about ways to actively incorporate a similar strategy into the official LEAF marketing approach.

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