While Nissan may not be at the top of its hybrid game, the number three Japanese automaker is ready to move ahead with plans to introduce an electric car in 2010 for testing with fleet customers in Japan and the United States. Nissan will market the lithium-ion powered electric car worldwide in 2012.
Speaking to the press at the Geneva Motor Show, Masahiko Tabe, Nissan’s manager of advanced vehicle engineering, said “The first production vehicles will be for regional areas like California. We will later expand the EV all over the world.”
Tabe said that Nissan has begun testing its lithium-ion batteries in the Cube, which will make it over to the stateside in its next-generation iteration. However, he refused to say whether the electric vehicles will actually be called the Cube or whether it will be based off the Cube at all.
“The technology will first appear in a small vehicle,” Tabe said. “The New York show will give you some hints.”
Next week Nissan will unveil its battery-powered concept car that it says will hint at the vehicle’s future styling and technical specs. The production model is expected to have a daily range of 100 miles with a top speed of 75mph. A full-charge will take about 8 hours.
“If you look at the number of kilometers people drive per day to commute, more than 90 percent of the people do less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) a day,” Tavares said. “There is a huge, huge potential there for EVs.”
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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