Rewinding: From BMW’s forty years of experimenting with electric vehicles, we skip through the alphabet and come to Nissan and sixty-five years of ‘electrifying’ news.
We all think differently about alternative transportation. Some desire a sportscar, others need a new truck for their business, growing families require a larger vehicle than the one they have.
At this time, the green movement has the whole world thinking of a future without pollution. — We could have had that already one hundred years ago, but the petroleum industry led us astray with easy to replenish energy.
However, that liquid fuel was in short supply in Europe and Japan during and after World War II. Germany kept barely mobile with gasifiers; Wood_gas wood was burned in steel containers, the gas was filtered, and it would keep engines running after they started with a little gasoline or “Leuna”, the synthetic gasoline being produced in Leuna; importing gasoline was not one of the things Germany was able to do at that time.
In Japan, the automobile industry was in its early years after 1945, and any opportunity to become mobile was welcome.
Airplane factories were out of work, standing empty, while vehicle manufacturers needed cars and trucks to build and sell.
Nissan joined with Tachikawa, a former airplane manufacturer, to build the Tama electric truck. It was a typical, boxy looking panel van, much like the style in Europe or America, recently restored by Nissan.
Petroleum fuel was still in short supply, but electricity was available in Japan. Therefore, electric vehicles made sense, and Nissan’s experience with that mode of alternative transportation goes back more than 60 years.
When the oil companies supplied liquid fuel again, — you know the rest of the story.
Now, when alternative transportation is of vital importance for the preservation of the ecology, Nissan was the first automaker to produce a battery-electric car. They consider the TAMA truck to be the ‘grandfather’ of the Leaf, the first mass-produced EV.
The Leaf is already being produced in North America, as well as in other countries. The model name of the ‘green’ Leaf or LEAF stands for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car. LEAF is not an acronym, but a backronym, and this is what Wikipedia has to say about that:
A bacronym or backronym is a phrase specially constructed so that an acronym fits an existing word. For example, NASA named its ISS treadmill the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) after Stephen Colbert. The backronym was a lighthearted compromise in recognition of the comedian’s ability to sway NASA’s online vote for the naming of an ISS module.
Backronyms may be invented with serious or humorous intent, or may be a type of false or folk etymology.
The word is a combination of backward and acronym, and has been defined as a “reverse acronym”. Its earliest known citation in print is as “bacronym” in the November 1983 edition of the Washington Post monthly neologism contest. The newspaper quoted winning reader “Meredith G. Williams of Potomac” defining it as the “same as an acronym, except that the words were chosen to fit the letters”.
BTW, Tesla was the first battery-electric vehicle – a sportscar- but that company grew out of the digital age, not the mechanical era. …..Much more about EVs ahead …..