Nissan hedges all-electric bet with range extender option

Nissan has been telling us over and over again that they will have electric cars for sale by 2010 and we are pretty darn sure they're serious about it. However, that doesn't mean that they are so committed to zero emissions that they won't explore less idyllic possibilities. Conscious of a vocal segment of the car-buying public that wishes to be able to travel well beyond the current range of a battery electric vehicle without having to stop for hours to re-charge, Nissan/Renault head Carlos Ghosn stated in an interview last week that they will be offering a "range extender" in some of their upcoming electric models. Ghosn is quoted in a piece in the Wall Street Journal, as saying that Nissan is committed to making vehicles that are "pure electric, zero emission. But you always have the possibility of having a range extender."

It's possible Ghosn remembers that the Renault side of the corporate family built 500 electric vehicles with range extenders back in 2003 called the Elect'Road (electrode, get it?). Though technology has marched on in the five years since that brief offering, perhaps they believe they can improve on that formula with a modern drivetrain, like that of the Mixim concept (pictured above). And while this compares closely with what GM is planning for the Volt, the article in the WSJ suggests that the Nissan version will go 100 miles gas-free as compared to the meager 40 clicks for the Detroit machine. That should keep those annoying trips to the gas pump down to a bare minimum.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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