Most of us probably think electric vehicles are relative newcomers on the scene, but in fact they have been around for a long time, and exactly 70 years after the debut of its first electric vehicle (EV), Nissan’s most advanced EV ever – the Nissan BladeGlider sports car – took centre stage at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The 100 per cent electric prototype performed on the famous Hillclimb course and then undertook a test session on the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit. Putting the BladeGlider through its paces was NISMO athlete Lucas Ordonez, who became the first professional racing driver to take the wheel of the three-seater.
Nissan’s EV success story began in 1947 with the launch of the Tama. This pioneering four-seater EV was available as a passenger car and a van, and offered customers a range of 65km on a full charge. It was initially developed by the Tokyo Electro Automobile Co Ltd, which later became part of Nissan.
Since the debut of the Tama, Nissan has established itself as a leader in zero-emission technology. It pioneered the EV revolution with the launch of the world’s first mass-market 100 per cent electric passenger car – the Nissan LEAF – in 2010, and the second-generation LEAF will have its world premiere on September 6.
Ordonez, a former winner of Nissan’s GT Academy competition to turn computer gamers into racers, was thrilled by the opportunity to test-drive the BladeGlider.
“Driving the BladeGlider round the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit has been a fantastic experience. It’s such an exciting car to drive, with so much torque from the moment you start. It’s great fun on a fast track like this, and so quick through the corners,” he said.
The BladeGlider’s debut at Goodwood helped showcase Nissan’s ‘Intelligent Mobility’ vision of “a more confident, more connected and more exciting future for the brand’s models”.
The BladeGlider was created to demonstrate the potential of a pure electric powertrain to satisfy the dynamic and performance needs of sports car enthusiasts. It has been developed by Nissan in association with its technical partner for the project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering.