Imperial To Stretch LEAF Into First Electric Limousine

Posted on August 31, 2011

The stretched Nissan LEAF will have nearly four feet added in length to provide space for a rear-facing bench seat in the passenger area.
The stretched Nissan LEAF will have nearly four feet added in length to provide space for a rear-facing bench seat in the passenger area.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Electric Car Company, a vehicle conversion company specializing in electric conversions and manufacturing for the livery and fleet markets, has received a signed purchase order from BTV Transportation and Solutions to convert a Nissan LEAF into a limousine. The limousine will not be for-hire and will instead be used by a Tennessee hotel that happens to be next to a Nissan factory.

Electric Car Company’s custom manufacturing subsidiary, Imperial Coach Builders, will perform the conversion. The plan is to stretch the LEAF about 48 inches, increasing the vehicle’s overall length to 223 inches and providing room to double the seating capacity of the rear passenger compartment.

"This will be the first conversion of this revolutionary vehicle and the first pure electric limousine," Gary Spaniak, president of Electric Car Company stated through a press release.

Even with an extra four feet of length, Spaniak said that he doesn’t predict any major issues with the LEAF's power train and battery range because the additional body panels will be made out of lightweight aluminum, which is standard for all Imperial Coach conversions.

“We’re still developing the plans with Liberty [Electric Cars] out of the U.K.,” Spaniak told LCT, “but the range will not suffer. We’re stretching [the LEAF] just enough to put in a rear-facing bench seat, and the interior will look like a 70-inch Town Car with a small TV, a little bar.”

Imperial Coach Builders operates out of a 60,000-sq.ft. facility in Springfield, Mo.

Source: Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor; Electric Car Company Inc.;

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