During the Nissan 360 event in Portugal earlier this week Nissan's head of global product planning, Thomas Lane, re-confirmed that the company plans to have an electric vehicle running in U.S. fleets by 2010. That vehicle would also be made available at the retail level a year later. The plan is for government and commercial fleets to use the vehicle first before letting regular customers have a crack at it. According to Lane, the architecture of the new EV is almost done with some components borrowed from other cars but it will essentially be a dedicated battery-powered car rather than a conversion like the Denki Cube concept that was shown at this years New York Auto Show.

The new car will use lithium ion batteries, probably sourced from Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), the joint venture that Nissan established with NEC in 2007. Pricing and volume targets aren't available at this point, but Lane wants the car to be affordable to mainstream customers. Select markets like Southern California and New York will likely be the first locations where the new car is available. Those also happen to be the markets where such a car would be most successful. Lane's U.S. counterpart, Larry Domenique, indicated that initial volumes would probably in the hundreds rather than thousands.

[Source: Green Fuels Forecast]

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