Nissan has shown its new all-electric and RWD hybrid prototypes
6 August 2008

Nissan has revealed its first all-electric and hybrid electric prototypes to be powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries.

The manufacturer already makes a hybrid passenger car in America called the Altima, which utilises technology borrowed from Toyota.

Now Nissan has revealed that it will make its own hybrid powertrain. Although this is currently being tested in the US-spec G35 Infiniti saloon, it is not destined for this car and will actually first appear in the M35/M45 (Fuga), Nissan's Lexus 450H rival, which is due to launch in 2010.

It utilises a parallel hybrid system (similar to the one in the Prius) with one electric motor and two clutches that allow the combustion engine and electric motor to drive the vehicle simultaneously under load. But whereas the Prius uses nickel-metal hydride batteries, the new Nissan will come with a smaller, more efficient lithium-ion set.

Also under development is a fully electric vehicle (EV) that will run solely on battery power. An 80kW motor and inverter power the front-wheel-drive EV, which is a Toyota Prius-sized vehicle with dedicated bodywork.

Sources within Nissan said that the EV, which is due to reach the market in 2012, will have a range of more than 60 miles (100km) a top speed of 90mph and can reach 60mph in 13 seconds.

Ian Tonkin

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