While Nissan is making optimistic noises about introducing its new electric car next year – with some sales apparently to start in China in 2011 – the outlook for Japan is a little more tempered and lot more hybrid. Maybe all the Japanese customers who are flocking to Nissan's green car offerings has something to do with this decision.

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei is reporting (using unnamed sources) that Nissan will start selling hybrids in its home turf in 2011. Nissan's recently-issued "Nissan Green Program 2010" made no mention of this hybrid program. If the report is correct, the hybrids would use Nissan's own technology with lithium-ion batteries that power an electric motor that supplements the liquid fuel engine. The Serena minivan (pictured), Nissan's most popular vehicle in Japan, is likely going to be the first to be hybridized with the new powertrain.

Currently, Nissan offers the Altima hybrid (which uses Toyota's hybrid technology) in limited markets in the U.S. and has developed hybrid technology for large vehicles like the upcoming Fuga (Infiiti M) luxury sedan.

[Source: Green Car Congress, Green Car Advisor]

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