Nissan has developed the EV-01 electric car equipped with a 300 kilogram (660 pounds) lithium-ion battery to deliver more power than the nickel metal hydride battery common in today’s current hybrid vehicles. The electric vehicle produces no emissions. In addition, the vehicle zipped around the Nissan Motor Company test course accelerating more quickly than comparable gasoline powered cars.

Having fallen behind Japanese rivals, Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company, in hybrid vehicle development and production, Nissan is promoting the electric vehicle as the cornerstone of its green strategy.

The vehicle is extremely quiet and absent of the typical engine noise found in conventional gasoline powered vehicles. Details such as cruising range are yet to be determined. The electric vehicle is planned to enter the U.S. marketplace in 2010 and the global marketplace by 2012.

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Drawing of EV-01. Credit: Eric Underwood

In July 2008, Nissan, with French partner Renault SA, announced a partnership with the Portuguese government to sell electric vehicles in 2011. In addition, Nissan has announced deals with Project Better Place, based in Palo Alto, California, to mass market electric vehicles in Israel and Denmark in 2011.

Aside from electric vehicles, Nissan is also pursuing lithium-ion technology in hybrid vehicles. Nissan currently purchases its hybrid system from Toyota for the Altima hybrid sold in the U.S., yet is currently developing a system to include in its vehicles by 2010. The hybrid vehicles are to be equipped with Nissan’s lithium-ion battery. Hybrids such as the popular Toyota Prius have a nickel metal hydride battery, which is less powerful than a lithium-ion type.




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