I don't usually get exited about cars. The primary school Ford v Holden debates never made much sense to me; I was hard pressed to tell which was which. And still now the brand of a car never impresses me. But... concept cars on the other hand.... in Ginza the other day I walked past the Nissan show room on 4 chome crossing which had a prototype of the Nissan Leaf in the window. Wow! Too cool - straight from the Jetsons.
It is a zero emission electric car which can go 100miles before needing to be recharged. (At high speeds though this decreases to more like 60miles). According to Nissan it will not need regular maintenance, though after five years it will need the batteries replaced. According to the Guardian newspaper it will be comparatively expensive at 28,350 pounds but running costs will be about 0.3 pence to the mile.
It also has gimmicky functions like being able to use your mobile phone to ask it remotely to start warming up and a continually updating GPS that tells you among other things were the nearest recharge places are.
Over time, presumable battery life will get longer and recharging time shorter. There seems to be consensus that long term success will depend on both of these being achieved, as well as a big increase in the number of recharging stations.
It's a pity the real cars, available from next year, won't look like the prototype,