“Nissan LEAF: Beyond Zero Emissions” Looks at Sustainability in Production
The on-road effects of the Nissan LEAF are clear enough from the statistics: the world’s best-selling electric car has driven a cumulative 913,000,000 kilometers in its four years on the market and has contributed to saving more than 151,000 tons of CO2 emissions. But, as LEAF Chief Vehicle Engineer Hidetoshi Kadota points out in “Nissan LEAF: Beyond Zero Emissions,” an environmentally efficient vehicle boils down to more than just what comes out of the tailpipe (or, in the case of the LEAF, what doesn’t come out of its non-existent tailpipe).
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“It’s zero emission, but if too much CO2 is emitted during the vehicle’s production, we cannot call it a sustainable car,” Kadota told Nissan’s camera crew. “To preserve the planet and create a car that is sustainable and eco-friendly, we set ourselves a goal to use recycled materials to build LEAFs.”
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Kadota then shows off some of the aspects of the LEAF that are made from recycled materials in a fashion not terribly dissimilar to that of Barker’s Beauties. There are seats made of fabric made from recycled PET bottles, parts of the body made from recycled metals, and a sound insulator made from old clothes.
“Some customers fear that by using recycled materials that we are compromising on quality. (However,) we ensure these parts made from recycled materials are of the same quality as parts made from new materials,” added Kadota.
All in all, up to 25 percent of each Nissan LEAF built in Japan is made of recycled materials.