Click on the image for a gallery of high-res images of the Nissan Altima Hybrid.

Nissan has started selling the 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid in the U.S., Nissan's first entry in the hybrid electric vehicle market. The new Altima Hybrid, which is assembled at the Nissan's Tennessee manufacturing plant, has a suggested retail price of $24,400 and qualifies for the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit tax credit of $2,350 if you pick one up before the end of March.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially rated the Altima Hybrid's fuel economy as a very respectable 42 mpg / 5.6 L per 100 km around the city and 36 mpg / 6.5 L per 100 km out on the highway. Rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), the Altima Hybrid emits almost no evaporative emissions and has a projected driving range of up to 700 miles / 1126 km.

Analysis: As the major auto manufacturers roll out hybrid production across the globe, the collective knowledge of how to design and build a modern hybrid increases greatly. Having Nissan assemble the Altima Hybrid in the U.S. is an important step in taking hybrids truly mainstream.

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