Imperial Coach Builders | San Francisco Travel Blog
Some months ago, we blogged about the first street-legal all-electric limousine, a Nissan Leaf limo made for a hotel in Nashville. That custom limousine must not have delivered the expected boost in reservations, as it is now listed on eBay with a starting bid of $50,000 and a Buy It Now price of $57,000. The Nashville Embassy Suites Hotel owns the limo, which seats eight people and was built by custom luxury vehicle manufacturer Imperial Coach Builders, based in Springfield, Missouri.
According to the builder, they intentionally kept most of the Leaf’s features as intact as possible while extending the subcompact by around eight feet and adding around 400 pounds to its weight. They shifted the limo’s battery pack to the rear for better balance, stability and performance and added customary limousine amenities such as these:
Regular readers of this blog know that we often write about all things weird and wonderful in the automotive world, and the first all-electric limo was no exception. While we do offer San Francisco hybrid rentals in our fleet of vehicles, we prefer to keep our Prius and Camry hybrids separate from our Bay Area limousine rentals. Each fills a very important niche for our clients, and, while an all-electric limo certainly piques our curiosity, we won’t be placing a bid on this limo any time soon. We suspect that Embassy Suites commissioned this custom limo to generate interest and perhaps enhance the hotel’s credibility with environmentally conscious guests. We also suspect that guests’ reactions to the limo were lukewarm, which lead to it being auctioned to the highest bidder.
Electric vehicles are a very responsible and practical way to run errands and provide everyday transportation to work and other destinations, but our guests do not rent our limousines, party buses and other luxury vehicles for daily transportation. They rent them for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, concerts, sporting events and many other special events that transcend the everyday. It is our job to ensure that their experience enhances their special event and makes it more comfortable, luxurious and most important, fun! If you are looking for the Bay Area limousine service that has the best selection of luxury limousines in the San Francisco area, you have come to the right place! Browse the pages of our site to check out images of the many options in our fleet, and, for more information and to place your reservation, just give us a call at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936.
A custom coachbuilder in Missouri recently completed a very unusual and challenging project – turning a fully electric 2012 Nissan Leaf compact car into a fully electric not-so-compact limousine. It took the craftsmen at Imperial Coach Builders of Springfield, MO, ten months to finish the ambitious project, but it is now ready, and the builders hope to sell this and other electric limo models to limousine services across the country. Nathan Daily is the head electrician at the company. When asked how his company created the world’s first fully electric limo, he took a fairly straightforward approach.
“We took a regular Nissan Leaf electric sedan and we cut it into two and basically extended the frame and everything to add a center section to stretch it into a limousine,” he said.
Like other Leaf models, the limo’s power plant is a 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack located beneath the floor of the cabin. Daily did not mention whether or not he and other workers made any other modifications to the Leaf’s electrical system to handle the extra size and weight. He also did not mention what, if any, luxury amenities were built into the new limo. However, he did mention that Imperial began working on the Leaf after learning that limousine companies are under increasing pressure to increase the fuel economy of their fleets of luxury vehicles.
“Limo operators have to decrease their overall gasoline consumption, so obviously by putting an all-electric Leaf (in their fleets, they) would decrease their overall gas consumption and be able to legally stay on the road,” said Imperial sales manager Gary Spaniak.
Although we are making strides to make our fleet of San Francisco limousines and other luxury vehicles more fuel-efficient, it might be a while before we add a Nissan Leaf electric limo to our fleet. However, if you’re looking for Bay Area hybrid car rentals, we can help you out there! We proudly offer Toyota Prius and Camry hybrid models at very affordable rates for clients who want to lower their carbon footprint without lowering their checking account balances. For more information about our San Francisco hybrid rentals or any of the other vehicles in our fleet, please call us at NLS Limo today at 800-339-8936!