Related News

Home » Business » Auto

Nissan's electric car shows green commitment

NISSAN Motor Co showed off its super-quiet, zero-emission electric car yesterday - a key green offering for Japan's No. 3 auto maker, which has fallen behind in hybrid technology.

Nissan showed the prototype in a Tiida compact that is already on sale. It is withholding the unveiling of the electric car's exterior design until the Tokyo-based manufacturer opens its new Yokohama headquarters on Sunday.

"Nissan will be a leader in zero-emission vehicles," Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said ahead of a test-drive event at the auto maker's facility in this Tokyo suburb. "EV is the answer."

Sales of Nissan's electric vehicle are scheduled to begin in Japan and the United States next year. Nissan says it plans to mass produce zero-emission cars globally from 2012. Until then, Nissan will produce all initially targeted 100,000 units at its plant in Oppama, near Kanagawa, including export models.

Nissan has received a US$1.6 billion loan from the US Department of Energy to modify its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant to produce electric vehicles and batteries to power them, with production starting in 2012.

The car shown yesterday uses a lithium-ion battery pack that is placed under the vehicle floor to allow for more cabin and luggage space. The braking system recharges the battery while the car is driving, extending the driving range to 160 kilometers under a full charge, Nissan said. With the lighter weight and more energy efficient batteries, the new electric car can double the mileage of the Hypermini model introduced in 1998.

Nissan shares the battery design with its alliance partner Renault as part of a cost-cutting effort.

Proponents of hybrids, like market-leader Toyota Motor Corp, the world's biggest auto maker, say the limited driving range of electric vehicles makes them suited for daily commutes or shopping at best, and so hybrids are the best solution.

Hybrids have gas engines as well as a motor on board, and they charge themselves as they scoot along so they don't have to be plugged in for charging, as do electric cars.

But Nissan Executive Vice President Mitsuhiko Yamashita said the firm plans to cut gas emissions by 90 percent by 2050, "a challenge that goes far beyond what hybrids can achieve but not electric vehicles."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend