World's first electric limo

00:05, Jul 20 2012

The world's first electric limousine has hit the road in North America – but not in tech-savvy California or downtown New York, but Nashville Tennessee.

A luxury hotel chain in the city known for country music and a laidback lifestyle is claiming to have commissioned the world's first fully-electric road-legal limo.

Built by a conversion company in Missouri, the Nissan Leaf's electric power pack and batteries remain intact – but the 200kg of extra metal, glass and leather added to the middle of the car has blunted driving range.

In ideal conditions a regular Nissan Leaf electric hatch can travel 160km between recharges, but the extra weight of the limousine – and its eight occupants, including the driver – would likely cut that in half.

However, the hotel says driving range is not an issue because most journeys are less than 8km.

The Embassy Suites hotel says most passengers haven't ridden in an electric car before and are surprised by the performance.

The Nissan Leaf electric is available in New Zealand for $69,700.

-Fairfax Australia

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