• Jul 9th 2008 at 5:03PM
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Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has held to his belief that hybrids are not the answer to the fuel efficiency question. The Japanese automaker came out with a very capable Altima hybrid last year, but it was Toyota technology purchased to help Nissan look good in the short term. Nissan has been betting most of its R&D dollars on electric vehicles, and the fruit of its engineering labors will be first seen stateside in 2010. It's important to note that Nissan intends to launch the technology here in the States, which is significant because Japanese automakers typically launch new technology in their home market first before U.S. customers ever see it.
Nissan hasn't revealed much about the vehicle besides a 2010 release date, but we do know that the automaker is working to install charging stations in many urban parking garages and railway stations in the U.S. A robust EV charging infrastructure will quell critics' worries that electric vehicles' limited range will prevent the technology from becoming a mainstream answer for gasoline power. It'll be interesting to see if Nissan can surprise the car-buying public with a game-breaking EV before GM and Toyota can deliver the Volt and plug-in Prius.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      sounds like something george bush would say hahaha
      • 7 Years Ago
      My only question about eletric cars, silly as it may be, is the affect that sound systems would have on the batteries. I assume a large sound system, 1-2 amps would possibly drain the batteries really fast. So, these cars are left with no sound system options for those would like bass, or just sound quality at loud volumes. An extra battery for the system may work, but loud volumes and an couple hours of driving would drain that battery as well.

      Maybe solar panels on the roof to recharge the amp battery?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Electrictrification." Chris?

      • 7 Years Ago
      Good news. More options=better, and the thought of something shaped like a 350z, with instant torque and zero dino consumption (while perhaps unlikely) put a big smile on my face.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it's anything like the Mixim concept, it might be worth a look at.
      • 7 Years Ago
      First of all, you guys, "electrification" is a perfectly cromulent word, as in "rural electrification initiative".

      Second of all, COOL! I didn't know that there was an auto exec who saw the same light i did as far as plug-in hybrids: they don't make any sense!

      Hybrids like the Prius make sense because their extra weight in terms of a relatively small battery pack and relatively small motor are offset by the efficiency gains that they allow. They allow the motor to be built more like a generator running at constant speed, and can thus be built to run especially efficiently at that speed. But a plug in hybrid? The Prius only has an electric motor that maxes out at ~35mph, a plug-in hybrid would have to do real highway speeds. And yet the car still needs to be able to run at highway speeds when the battery is out of juice, so the gas motor has to be just as big as the Prius. The stock Prius batteries can only run for a few miles on electric power alone. The plug-in hybrid has to run for at least what to be able to cover most people's daily commute and driving, 40 to 60 miles? And then don't forget that this weight issue is self-compounding: heavier batteries and engine mean that you need and even heavier engine to carry around the excess weight and even heavier batteries to power it... and heavier drivetrain components and brakes... etc.

      Maybe it makes sense for when people are driving within the daily range since grid power is so relatively cheap, but driving with gas has to be much less efficient than it would be in a regular hybrid.

      And then you look at the design of the Volt and its gas motor is literally a generator thats not mechanically connected to the drivetrain, so thats a less efficient system when running on gasoline... it has to convert from chemical energy to mechanical energy to electrical energy back to mechanical energy, vs just chemical to mechanical. And then you look at GM claiming 40 mile range on the battery, which definitely sounds decent, but does nobody think about it for a second? Even assuming that the 40 mile claim isnt altered downward, as its gas range recently was from 600 to 360 (or as its price was altered upward from $30k to $40k), what does 40 miles actually mean? Is it 40 miles on the EPA combined cycle, which greatly overestimates everyone's mileage, but seemingly especially hybrids? Is it on a completely fresh battery, or one thats been in use for 1 to 2 years and doesn't charge as much?

      I like where Nissan's going. All-electric cars are in theory so much far superior to what we have going on now. Forget that the energy itself costs a fraction, there are so many fewer moving parts which means much lower maintenance and many fewer failures. Constant torque. Low mechanical noise. The fact that your battery holds so much energy means we'll have much more powerful electrical applications for cars: better stereo and computer systems, the ability to be able to plug standard electrical plugs into your car to run power a campsite and the stereo, or its a really hot/cold day and you go into the mall for a few hours, what do you care, you see you have plenty of battery left, you just leave the AC/heat on.

      They are a ways off though. Hybrids are the quick fix but electric is where the end-game is. The batteries aren't though yet though... so that sucks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is that like Californication?
      or maybe Calcification?
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