One thing you often see unveiled at car shows like the Paris Auto Show are concepts, which are often heralds of what a car company is thinking about for future vehicle development. One new concept from Nissan turning a lot of heads is the concept Townpod electric vehicle and its unique dual purpose design.
The Nissan Townpod, according to the maker of the upcoming Leaf electric car, is said to combine the benefits of a passenger car with the “practicality of a light commercial vehicle.” It is seen as a concept idea which blurs the lines between one’s business and leisure worlds, by acting as a vehicle which can support both. It sports compact external dimensions and what is said to be generous interior space, with a low flat floor that features a long sliding rear seat and rear hinged doors and split trunk doors for easier access to carried cargo and exiting passengers.
The Townpod, which makes use of the same electric vehicle technology as the Leaf, has charging points that can be found “in the nose behind an automatically retracting cover, which appears to be backlit thanks to its electric blue painted surrounds.” The driver is said to be faced with “an uncomplicated yet futuristic steering wheel and two familiar stalks to operate the lights and wipers, but other than these controls – which are beautifully simple in their own light – the flowing dashboard is devoid of mechanical switches. Forward or rearward drive is selected using an uncomplicated joystick set into the right-hand side of the driver’s seat base.”
In explaining the dual concept design of the Townpod, François Bancon, general manager of Nissan’s Exploratory and Advance Planning Department, said that “only they [the drivers] know what is essential for their lives, so it is logical that they should be the ones who determine the ultimate specification of their cars. For them an off-the-shelf solution is not enough and the best-equipped people to tailor-make their cars are themselves. What is more revealing is that Nissan Townpod users do not appreciate stereotypes or status symbols. For them, the ultimate status is to have no status.”