Nissan Land Glider: A 21st Century Electric Commuter

By Bill Moore

Posted: 09 Oct 2009

Now we're talking! Meet the Nissan Land Glider leaning electric vehicle, to shortly be officially introduced to the public at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show. The 1+1 tandem seating vehicle is designed to lean into the turn for enhanced stability. At this point, two weeks before the opening of the auto show, Nissan is providing, characteristically, few technical details beyond releasing a video and series of photos, which have been incorporated into the above video slide show.

While the vehicle's ability to lean is clearly its most outstanding feature, its cockpit is accessed by doors on either side. The photo's suggest there is a rudimentary passenger seat behind the driver, whose steering wheel more closely resembles the yoke of an airplane. Beyond indicating the car is electrically-powered, details on range, speed, acceleration, battery type and capacity have not yet been released.

What is compelling about the Land Glider is that it's an ideal commuter vehicle, one that clearly is more appealing -- at least in my view -- than Renault's Twizy electric car, which shares with its Nissan "cousin" the narrow platform concept, seating the passenger behind the driver rather than side-by-side. It's not a concept that is widely understood or accepted, but it is one that is likely to gain wider acceptance as a means to deal with urban congestion and energy efficiency. Others who have explored the narrow car layout include Volkswagen (L1), CommuterCar (Tango), Keio University (Luciole), Naro Car, and the University of South Australia (Trev).

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