Nissan’s Vegan Electric Car Is the Future and Tesla Is Happy About It
February 5, 2019  Kat Smith

[image  / Getty

Elon Musk @elonmusk
Exciting to see all the new electric vehicles coming to market! We created
Tesla to accelerate a sustainable future & it’s happening!
2:56 PM - Jan 31, 2019

According to Nissan, vegan, electric vehicles are the future and Tesla – the
pioneering electric automotive company, “accelerating the world’s transition
to sustainable energy” – is thrilled to have more car companies in

Nissan’s Electric Vegan Car of the Future

Nissan recently unveiled a prospective design of a new electric car, kitted
out in vegan leather, which it hopes will be on the road in the not too
distant future.

The Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer unveiled the eco-friendly
motor at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The reveal
follows on from the company’s launch of the “Leaf” last year, the
top-selling electric vehicle throughout Europe in 2018.

The Leaf stayed true to the familiar, generic car design, but the new
prospective motor sees Nissan depart slightly from the norm. “This is a
progression,” Giovanny Arroba, program design director at Nissan said in an
interview, according to Rubber & Plastic News. “This is a step forward.
We’re looking at this for 2022 and beyond.”

And 2022 and beyond will see cow skin leather out of the picture, according
to Arroba, without sacrificing the luxurious feel of the interior. “We
wanted to get a premium [feel], and that’s usually always leather. We
captured that, I think with a synthetic version.” He added, “We’re going
into the realm of vegan leather and synthetics, but celebrating it and
making it cool.” 

Thanks to the neat nature of electric motors – one electric motor is used
for each wheel, or in some cases, one per front set of wheels and one per
back – there is more room in Nissan’s new vehicle to experiment with design,
as there is no longer a requirement for a center shaft tunnel.

The vegan interior will be situated on a flat floor (so there will be no
need to fight over space in the footwell anymore) and the panel between the
windows – known as the “B Pillar” – will also be gone, contributing to a
super sleek, futuristic design. “I think of it as a magic carpet,” Alfonso
Albaisa, senior vice president for global design at Nissan noted.

“Electrification provides a fantastic opportunity for designers and for
engineers to redefine the proportions of our cars,” added Karim Habib, the
executive design director for Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury vehicle division.
“By having a flat floor and no B pillar, we’re able to provide a wide open
and natural way to enter or exit the vehicle.”

Tesla Leading the Way

One man super happy about the electric future of the automobile industry is
Elon Musk.

Last week, the Tesla CEO took to Twitter to share his excitement over new
electric cars coming to market, stating he wants more people to take
inspiration from Tesla’s work.

In the thread, he linked to a 2014 blog post titled “All Our Patents Are
Belong to You” (hello, nod to a classic early aughts meme), where he wrote
that all Tesla patents were made public, “in the spirit of the open source
movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.”

In the post, Musk added that Tesla Motors’ mission is to “accelerate the
advent of sustainable transport,” so deeming its cars intellectual property
of the company only slows down progress. Anyone who wants to use the
electric car patents can, without having to worry about a lawsuit.

Musk added that it is “impossible” for Tesla to address the global carbon
crisis on its own as annual new vehicle production approaches $100 million
per year.

“Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars
being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out
of the world’s factories every day,” he wrote.

“Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has
repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined
competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate
the world’s most talented engineers,” Musk concluded.

“We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will
strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

Like Nissan’s prospective new design, sustainable Tesla offers vegan leather
seating for its cars, but the steering wheels still use leather – for the
time being, at least.

Last June, Musk said that Tesla is working on finding “suitable” leather
replacements and hinted that the Model Y, an electric SUV, “will not have
any leather in it, including in the steering wheel — even if it does have a
steering wheel?”

The Electric Future of Cars

Tesla is not alone in pioneering the electric vehicle; German manufacturer
Audi hopes that 30 percent of its production will be completely electric by

Last October, at the LA Auto Show, the company showcased the Audi e-tron GT.
The 4-door luxury electric vehicle is set to pip Nissan to the post,
launching in 2021.

Not much is known yet about the e-tron GT, but it is confirmed to include a
completely vegan interior, made of recycled fabrics; the floor will even be
created out of reclaimed fishing nets.

The Los Angeles Times reported last year, “Audi executives remained mostly
mum about details of the electric coupe. But they did say that it will have
a 100-kWh battery pack, a 248-mile range and a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.
It will be able to charge to 80% battery strength in 20 minutes.”

Michigan-based company Rivian also debuted an electric pick-up truck at the
LA Auto Show. The company pitched the four-wheel drive as an electric
version of Land Rover, and interestingly, also compared the design to Musk

“It’s the ideal platform to go out and enjoy nature,” R.J. Scaringe, the
founder of Rivian, told the LA Times. “If the analogy were clothing, this is
more like a Patagonia jacket and less like an Armani suit. It’s comfortable
getting dirty. The interior design is rugged and cleanable. It’s the version
of Elon Musk you’d want your daughter to marry.”

Volvo is also making big promises in terms of electrification; the Swedish
company hopes to sell one million electrified vehicles by 2025. It hopes to
achieve this goal with the launch of its first all-electric car this year,
as well as by offering at least two hybrid versions of all of its models.

Volvo notes on its website, “We combine lightweight engines with
supercharging, turbocharging and electrification for outstanding performance
with less impact on the environment. It’s intelligent technology that gives
you the best of all worlds.”

The Urgent Need for Vegan, Electric Cars

Volvo’s promise is overdue; as it stands, there are more than one billion
standard gas guzzling cars in use around the world, and they’re detrimental
to the environment.

It’s a fact humanity has known for some time – but with the release of a
hard-hitting climate change report from the UN towards the end of last year
– the drastic consequences of no transformation in the automobile industry
are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

According to Sciencing, pollution from cars is one of the main causes of
global warming, emitting carbon dioxide and other toxic greenhouse gases
into the atmosphere.

The publication notes, “the effects of car pollution are widespread,
affecting air, soil and water quality. Nitrous oxide contributes to the
depletion of the ozone layer, which shields the Earth from harmful
ultraviolet radiation from the sun.”

[image  “Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide mix with rainwater to create
acid rain, which damages crops, forests and other vegetation and buildings,”
it continues. “Oil and fuel spills from cars and trucks seep into the soil
near highways, and discarded fuel and particulates from vehicle emissions
contaminate lakes, rivers, and wetlands.”

The environmental impact of the automobile industry doesn’t stop there,
either. Many vehicles are kitted out with a leather interior, a byproduct of
animal agriculture, which is another of the world’s worst culprits for
causing climate change.

In October, the United Nations labeled animal agriculture has an urgent
problem. “Our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us
to the verge of catastrophe,” the United Nations Environment Program said in
a statement.

“The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that of every
car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket shop combined,” it added. “There
is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive
decrease in the scale of animal agriculture.”

Like the race towards vehicle electrification, the acceleration of the clean
and vegan meat markets is needed now more than ever before, as is the
development of sustainable, plant-based materials, like vegan leather.

12 Years Left

According to a UN report released last year, we have just 12 years to turn
things around. To prevent major social and environmental disasters –
including droughts, floods, food shortages, and wildfires – human-caused
carbon dioxide emissions need to drop 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030,
and reach “net zero” by 2050.

It’s an ambitious target, but with major changes – like electric cars and
plant-based diets – it’s reachable, according to the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC).

[image  “One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this
report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global
warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing
Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, the co-chair of IPCC
Working Group I, in a statement last year.

Jim Skea, the Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, added, “Limiting warming
to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so
would require unprecedented changes.”
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