The 84th Academy Awards -- otherwise known as The Oscars -- might be many months away, but we’re probably going to see a stretched Nissan Leaf acting as red-carpet transport.
Or at least, that’s what we think might be happening after a limousine company has confirmed that it has been asked to create what it says will be the world’s first purely electric limousine
Imperial Coach Builders of Springfield, Missouri announced on Friday that it would be building the stretched Leaf after it received an order from an un-named transportation service.
The Japanese electric hatchback will undergo some serious surgery in the transformation, gaining an additional 48 inches in length, doubling its seating capacity and putting on a few pounds in the process.
While Imperial Coach Builders are more used to building limousines from gas-guzzling SUVs and sedans like Chryslers, Hummers, and Cadillacs, the company also claims to offer electric car conversion as part of its standard coach building business.
We don’t have any more information yet on the conversion, but can imagine one of the toughest challenges of carrying out the conversion will be dealing with the Leaf’s standard 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Placed directly under the body of the car -- and making use of the area directly underneath the rear seat -- we’d expect the battery pack would have to be reshaped in order to fit under the new limousine floor.
We can’t wait to see what the finished car will look like -- although our opinion of stretching a perfectly usable 2011 Nissan Leaf into a limousine is about the same as our opinion towards stretching a 2008 Toyota Prius.
Alison Brie with 2011 Chevy Volt at Global Green Pre-Oscar Party, Feb 2011
The car will undoubtedly be finished in the next few months, but will it get used to transport eco-minded celebrities to the red carpet? After all, electric cars are no stranger to The Oscars or its parties.
No-one is saying for sure, but if we were the betting sort we think the odds are more favorable than the $1 million bet Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk made with journalist Dan Neil last week.
[Electric Car Company, Inc.]