Last year we told you about a Missouri coachbuilder with the grand plan: turn a humble 2012 Nissan Leaf into a stretch limousine

Now, some ten months after we first brought you the story, we can bring you evidence that the Imperial Coach Builders of Springfield, MO  made good its promise with what it claims is the world’s first electric stretch limo. 

“We took a regular Nissan Leaf electric sedan(sic) and we cut it into two and basically extended the frame and everything to add a center section to stretch it into a limousine,” Nathan Daily, head electrician at the firm, told Orzarks First.

There’s no mention of how the coachbuilders handled the 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack usually found under the floor of a production Leaf, but we can only assume it was modified to fit the extended floorpan.

The motivation to build an electric limousine not only comes from the kudos of a zero-emissions car, but also because of increasing pressure on limousine companies to increase fleet gas mileage. 

“Limo operators have to decrease their overall gasoline consumption, so obviously by putting an all electric leaf (sic) would decrease their overall gas consumption and be able to legally stay on the road,” said sales manager Gary Spaniak.

Electric Nissan Leaf Limo

Electric Nissan Leaf Limo

We’re not sure if the Missouri firm has had any official orders yet for its plug-in limousine, but we assume the first conversion will be used as a demonstration car for the business for a while before being sold on. 

However, we’re a little perplexed by some of the reporting -- and some of the quotes -- in the original local Missouri news article

“Right now it takes any 12-volt battery charger,” Spaniak says in the accompanying video interview, while Melissa Stern, the local news reporter on the story says “All you have to do is take the charger, plug it into the car, and plug it into an outlet -- no money needed.”

We'd disagree, although note that running an electric Leaf Limousine is certainly cheaper than paying to fuel  a converted Hummer H2.

Overlooked reporting aside, we’re keen to see who ends up being the first Leaf Limousine customer.

Do you have any ideas? Let us know in the Comments below.


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