• Aug 5th 2008 at 8:01PM
  • 4
Click the hybrid G35 for high-res images

While Nissan has been offering a version of the Altima in selected states for the last two years with a licensed version of the Toyota's hybrid system, they have been diligently working on their own design back in Japan. The Nissan developed system is expected to debut in 2010 in an Infiniti model and the company is now showing a prototype publicly for the first time. The new system is a single motor configuration with two clutches that allow the vehicle to be powered by either the engine, the electric motor or both. When the system launches it will be the first from the Japanese automaker to be applied to a rear wheel drive platform and the first to use lithium ion batteries.

Also using lithium ion batteries will be Nissan's electric vehicle launching in 2010. At the New York Auto this Nissan showed the Denki Cube, a battery powered version of the Japanese market Cube. A next generation prototype with new batteries and a new 80 kW motor and inverter is now running in preparation for the fleet launch of an all-new electric car. The production model will have distinct styling and won't be based on any other existing Nissan vehicle. The Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation) will be supplying batteries for both vehicles. The Nissan press release is after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]

- All-electric and original hybrid electric prototypes unveiled –

TOKYO (August 6, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled all-electric and original hybrid electric prototype vehicles, both powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries. Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012.

Electric vehicle (Test vehicle) Hybrid vehicle (Test vehicle) Lithium-ion battery

Electric Vehicle (EV)
Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, the EV prototype is part of Nissan's substantial research and development program on zero emission vehicles. This latest generation vehicle features a front-wheel drive layout and uses a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space.

The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The Nissan original HEV delivers two breakthrough technologies – a high-performance rear-wheel drive hybrid system and parallel-powertrain hybrid system. The hybrid employs Nissan's own originally developed hybrid technology and its first rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.

The parallel-powertrain system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.

The parallel-powertrain hybrid system eliminates the need for conventional torque converters, contributing to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for improved driving feel.

The dynamic characteristics of the clutches are as follows:
Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

Lithium-ion Battery
The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in both prototypes are sourced from the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). These advanced batteries offer superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness, compared to the conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries. Its compact laminated configuration delivers twice the electric power compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration. The compact batteries also allow for improved vehicle packaging and a wide range of applications.

Nissan has long experience in electric-powered vehicle development, commencing from the first EV "Tama Electric Vehicle" back in 1947. The company introduced the world's first application of lithium-ion batteries to the Prarie Joy EV in 1996, followed by the ultra-compact electric vehicle, Hypermini, released in 2000. Nissan also introduced its first original hybrid vehicle Tino Hybrid back in 1999 in Japan. In 2006, the Altima Hybrid was introduced in North America using licensed technology.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan, the company aims to develop new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources. Nissan continues to invest substantially in a wide range of technologies including CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), clean diesels, biofuels and fuel cell vehicles.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Oops...major typo. I meant that everyone will say Nissan copied Porsche.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I’m tired of the talk about hybrids. I want a pure battery electric car, but I know we won’t see one built by the car companies we grew up with.
      Who does not want EV’s in our driveways:
      -Big Automakers, because they, and their dealer networks do not earn significant revenue by selling cars. A look at how large their service departments are (and our out-of-wallet experience with them) shows what’s at stake revenue-wise because EV’s never need service beyond tire changes. EV’s don’t even need brake jobs due to electronic regenerative braking that does most of the work. Their ordinary friction brake pads and rotors thus last the life of the car (as shown on the Toyota electric Rav4).
      The large established car companies depend on their service department, like printer companies depend on sales of ink cartridges. So why did Toyota sell the Rav4 instead of leasing and crushing as GM did with the EV1? It’s a mystery, but I came across a blog that mentioned that a Toyota exec at a public speech mistakenly said that the cars would be sold, and so to save face, Toyota reluctantly sold the Rav4. Buyers, however, now post on blogs that they actually had difficulty in getting the Toyota dealer to sell them an electric Rav4 and that they were highly pressured to instead buy a Gas Toyota or a Prius.
      -Large oil companies, for obvious reasons. Note they are also major stockholders in auto companies and thus probably have influence over their board of directors.
      Business firms exist to make profits, but profits are going to be reduced if EV’s replace the ICE car. Much of our economy is based on the automobile, and its upkeep. Almost every business is related in some way to the car. What will happen to employment if the need to service a car is reduced?
      What happens to Midas, Pepboys, Kragen’s, smog check, AMCO, gas stations, Jiffylube, general service repair centers, the manufacturing plants that fabricate repair parts, the UPS people that deliver the parts, the corner deli or Taco Bells frequented by those firm’s workers at lunchtime? What about government agencies that depend on collecting all manner of tax revenue from the above interlinked economy?
      If people understand this scenario, then they will understand why they can’t yet buy an EV from the legacy business infrastructure. Only recently can one sniff the scent of a potential EV from upstart EV start-up manufacturers like Tesla (too costly for mass production partly because they hand-solder a battery pack of 6000 Lithium AA sized cells together in series-parallel groups), Aptera, and even the tiny BugE, etc., because a startup company does not need to address the risk that a service-free vehicle will parasitically affect revenue from other parts of its company.
      Curiously, Nissan’s CEO has advocated a pure EV but I have a hard time believing he really will build one and that the announcement is mostly PR in nature. After all, Nissan has service centers, too.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nissan/Renault will be leading the auto world into BEVs simply because of their association with "Project Better Place," which has a committed market for their batteries. Watch for them to to expand the project, which currently has Israel, Denmark and Portugal signed up, to include other island nations and perhaps some American cities, i.e., Hawaii, San Jose and San Francisco.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "The new system is a single motor configuration with two clutches that allow the vehicle to be powered by either the engine, the electric motor or both."

      Now everyone will say that Nissan copied Japan!
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