FRANKLIN, TN – The Embassy Suites hotel in Nashville, Tenn., contracted a company to convert a Nissan LEAF into a stretch limo to help shuttle guests.
Inside it's a limo and outside it's a stretched Nissan LEAF. "This is the world's first road-worthy, licensed, street legal electric limousine, and this is it," said Trevor Goulding, director of sales for Embassy Suites Nashville South.
"I don't know how they did it, if they cut a car in half, but it's really interesting and fun that they did," said first-time passenger Krystal Serrano.
The typical trip is less than five miles from the hotel. Committed to luxury and going green, the hotel chain contracted a company out of Missouri to modify the LEAF into a stretch limo, according to Nissan.
Most of the Nissan LEAF's essential parts intact, with the battery pack now sitting in the back for balance. The Missouri company added about 400 lbs. in the center of the car to make room for more seating. Mirrors, plush leather, and cedar paneling, were also added.
"The LEAF will be primarily VIP car service, anybody who is looking for that special treatment to get around in the area," Goulding said. "People can see, hey, look what we can do with this. It's not just a family car. We can turn it into transportation for the masses."
The hotel's shuttle driver Phillip Huckelba said he is surprised how well the conversion worked. It fits a total of eight adults, including the driver, comfortably. "I think it will catch on once the word is out there. It always takes one to get something started," said Huckelba.