8. Nissan Nuvu

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8. Nissan Nuvu

Is this a glimpse of how Nissan's electric car will look when it goes on sale in the UK?

Certainly the Nuvu - pronounced 'new view' - is a step closer to that production than the concept cars that it has developed from, Mixim and Pivo.

About 30cm longer and 20cm taller than a Smart but around the same width the Nuvu has two regular seats plus a third for occasional use, and reasonable luggage space.

There's some other quirky touches, such as the use of recycled materials inside and an airplane style steering wheel.

While these mark the Nuvu out as a bit unusual, what really makes it remarkable is that it's powered by electricity some of which is provided by the sun, through leaf-shaped, roof-mounted solar panels.

Energy is transferred from the panels, through a tree-like structure to the car's lithium ion batteries.

This top-up of power extends the Nuvu's range beyond the 80 miles achievable from a full three to four hour mains charge, or 60 miles or so from a 40-minute quick charge.

Of course, leaf-shaped solar panels aren't going to make production but there's no doubt solar panels of a more conventional shape will.

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