I Want The Nissan RE-LEAF Prototype To Be My Daily Driver

Illustration for article titled I Want The Nissan RE-LEAF Prototype To Be My Daily Driver
Photo: Nissan

The Nissan RE-LEAF prototype is one of the few prototypes I desperately wish was a real thing.

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This prototype is based on the Nissan Leaf passenger car, but it’s outfitted with all the stuff you’d need to transform it into a mobile disaster response unit: a jackhammer, a pressure ventilation fan, a medical ventilator, a 100-watt LED floodlight, and a 10-liter soup kettle. The back hatch opens up to reveal a monitor and keyboard you can use to keep tabs on, say, weather or reports of injury.

It’s a neat concept. It’s designed with a noble cause in mind. Selfishly, I want one as my daily driver.

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Photo: Nissan

No, I do not have a need for a jackhammer or a medical ventilator. I do not need a big floodlight. I would, however, love to have a small but hardy electric car for personal purposes, most of which include “traveling without ever having to interact with another human being.” I’m growing ever more interested in the concept of making my own lunch on the road and not having to stop for McDonald’s.

That is absolutely not the purpose of the RE-LEAF. Nissan said it’s reimagining emergency response with this car in a way that can provide power and aid to communities that have suffered a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or something else. I mean, this prototype would have the capacity to not only be charged but to charge something else. The RE-LEAF has enough power to keep the average European home functioning for six days. That’s a pretty big deal if you’ve ever found yourself without electricity for days at a time.

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Photo: Nissan
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So, no, this car is not a real model, and I will not be acquiring an absurdly outfitted Nissan for my own personal use. But we could very well start seeing these kinds of machines providing portable aid to communities in need. Nissan has been using Leafs to assist with emergencies since 2011. It might be time to start exploring the opportunities here

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

Me and the wife just made MREs on the road last year when we did a trip up PCH on the cheap.  Found the cheapest hotels by staying a bit away from the usual tourist spots, did coastal trails and free attractions up and down PCH.  We would find a turn out, small parking area, or other spots along the way to make lunch, US MREs.  Fill up large water bottles to stay hydrated as well.  Good times.