Monday, December 11, 2006

Jumping On The Hybrid Bandwagon

Nissan has announced a development program aimed at producing its own hybrid vehicle in 2010. For a long time Nissan was sceptical of the advantages of hybrids, and has consequently found itself playing catchup. Nissan's first hybrid, to be launched in the US next year, uses technology from its arch-rival Toyota.
Nissan's U-turn demonstrates the massive demand for hybrid vehicles, particularly in the US, where the appeal of fuel economy has been enhanced by soaring gasolene prices. "We do not deny that from the marketing stand point, at the present point of time customers' needs and values could not be met with what we have," said Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga. This is reflected in a 15% drop in Nissan's operating profits, attributable to a general shortage of new models.
Other 'green' developments in the pipeline are:

  • a vehicle running entirely on bio-ethanol fuel for the Brazilian market by 2009
  • a car that will travel 100 kilometers on just three litres of petrol to launch in Japan by 2010 with CO2 emissions comparable to a gas-electric hybrid
  • a "next-generation" fuel cell vehicle
  • A 7% cut in CO2 emissions from its plants by 2010 from 2005 levels

It would be nice to think that Nissan is doing all this to save the planet. The fact that it's what Nissan's competitors are already doing, even struggling GM, may have more to do with it.


At 3:39 pm, Blogger Matt Burge said...

I keep seeing those Prius cars levitating quietly along my street. No, it's not something I've taken!

I want one. But alass they are still a tad expensive on the second hand market and the boot space could be bigger. I believe there is a major service on the battery side of things every 5 years. No doubt expensive and no doubt when the price will begin to drop on Autotrader.

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