Nissan is recharging the idea of a production plug-in hybrid model. The Japanese automaker may start making a plug-in hybrid by as soon as late 2015, with deliveries to start in time for the 2016 model year, Green Car Reports says, citing an interview with company executive Andy Palmer. Those comments go against what Nissan said during the North American Auto Show in January.

Palmer didn't specify what class of vehicle the plug-in hybrid would be, but he said battery-electric vehicles are best suited for cars 3,850 pounds or lighter, according to Green Car Reports. That would imply that the plug-in hybrid powertrain may be used for a mid-sized sedan or a crossover vehicle. Either way, a Nissan PHEV may pair the Nissan Leaf's 108-horsepower electric motor with a gas engine. Whether Palmer's projected timeframe was more of a ballpark estimate is anyone's guess, as the company hasn't made official plans for a 2016 model-year plug-in hybrid, Nissan spokesman Tim Gallagher wrote in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen. Either way, feel free to join us in the comments below.

Nissan is coming off its best-ever sale month for the Leaf, which has moved about 115,000 units around the world. Domestic sales of the Leaf in May rose 46 percent from a year earlier to a monthly record 3,117 vehicles. Through the first five months of the year, Leaf sales increased 36 percent, to 10,389 units.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 9 Months Ago
      It is not really speculation... PHEVs are going to be a natural part of any transition. All of the reservations buyers may have about EVs... can easily be alleviated by PHEVs. They just need to keep costs in check, and give consumers at least 35 miles AER.
      David Murray
      • 9 Months Ago
      Great news.. I've wondered for a while why Nissan has no real hybrids and no PHEVs. I would love to see something like a PHEV Rogue. I know EVs are the future, but I definitely think PHEVs are the near-term future.
      porosavuporo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Dear Nissan, please dont bother, not now. Do what you have done best and lead the pack in mass market BEVs. There will be time and place for range extenders, but first make BEVs even more awesome. Thanks
        Joeviocoe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @porosavuporo
        Can't they do both? They are no signs of Nissan abandoning the Leaf 2.0
          porosavuporo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          It dilutes focus, engineering effort, and also is hard to explain to customers. Also, i dont think that range extenders are a mature technology as of today. Free piston ICE engines, micro turbines, and direct methanol fuel cells etc are the best bet, not an old school crankshaft.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hope this isn't a sign that Nissan will abandon any plans to make significant improvements to the leafs range and styling. It seems as if manufacturers like to carve a grove for their cars and leave them in there. Once they are in there they evolve so slow it's painful. The prius and its technology are an example of that. EVs run the risk of falling in to a crevasse. That would be sad.
        chanonissan
        • 9 Months Ago
        They are not abondon EV cars, did you not read, it makes sense for small ev cars but for SUV or large cars hybrid makes sense, as it is cheaper to build and they are at lower cost to consumers.