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