November 1, 2010

Nissan Unveils Another Electric Vehicle

Japanese automaker Nissan has displayed a two-seater electric vehicle that resembles a go-cart and is evidence of the company's ambitions to be the leader in zero-emission cars.

Nissan Motor Co. is planning to produce 250,000 electric vehicles a year, starting with the Leaf electric car that will go on sale in the U.S. in December.

Renault SA of France, Nissan's partner, is planning to also produce 250,000 electric vehicles a year.

Nissan said it and Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp. will produce 500,000 batteries for EVs a year.

"We don't want EVs to be a niche product," Corporate Vice President Hideaki Watanabe told reporters at the company's headquarters southwest of Tokyo.

He said Nissan boasts 18 years of development in lithium-ion batteries, which will help power the leaf.  Lithium-ion batteries are common in devices like laptops.

Watanabe zipped around Nissan's showroom in the tiny electric vehicle called "Nissan New Mobility CONCEPT."

The vehicle can travel 62 miles at a maximum speed of 47 miles an hour.  Renault developed the EV system, but Nissan created the car's design.

Analysts are skeptic about the practicality of electric vehicles, saying that they will make up only a tiny fraction of the overall auto market for some years to come.

Watanabe did not give out the price of the concept car.  He said they were still studying the car's uses.

Nissan said it is setting up charging stations for electric vehicles, and forging partnerships with governments and companies. 

According to the manufacturer of the March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, Nissan dealers in Japan will be equipped with battery rechargers with the goal of having 2 million chargers, along with another 5,000 that recharge quicker by 2020.


Image Caption: NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT


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