Nissan releases the Atlas 20 Diesel Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Nissan releases the Atlas 20 Diesel Hybrid

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nissan releases the Atlas 20 Diesel Hybrid

Compared with a conventional Atlas 20 diesel-engine model, the Atlas 20 Hybrid achieves a 35% improvement in fuel economy in M15 mode and improvements of 10% to 20% in normal city driving. The vehicle’s CO2 emissions drop by 25% in M15 mode. M15 mode is the standard used in Japan for measuring the fuel efficiency of urban heavy-duty vehicles.

“A growing number of LCV customers are paying more attention to environmental issues,” said Andy Palmer, corporate vice president and head of Nissan’s LCV business unit. “With the Atlas 20 Hybrid, we plan to meet their demands for more environmentally-friendly trucks,” he added.

The Atlas 20 Hybrid employs a power-take-off (PTO) type parallel-drive hybrid system in which the motor/generator is connected to a different drive shaft from the engine for reliable operation. Even if a failure occurs in the hybrid system, the vehicle can still be driven using the diesel engine.

The system uses lithium-ion batteries with a lifespan approximately three times longer than that of nickel metal hybrid batteries. The low weight of the batteries also ensures that there is little impact on the payload of the vehicle.

The Atlas 20 Hybrid features Smoother Autoshift as standard equipment. This automatic shift eliminates any need for clutch adjustment or replacement, dramatically reducing maintenance costs, while preventing failures on the road due to clutch problems.

The Atlas 20 Hybrid, which will be built by Isuzu Motors Ltd. on an original-equipment-manufacturing basis, will use Isuzu’s hybrid system.

Nissan has identified the light commercial vehicles business as one of four breakthrough areas for the company under the Nissan Value-Up three-year business plan, which started in fiscal year 2005. Nissan has set ambitious objectives for the LCV business, which are to double operating profit margin to 8% and grow volumes by 40% to 434,000 units worldwide by fiscal year 2007. In fiscal 2005, Nissan’s LCV business unit sold 400,296 vehicles and posted a consolidated operating profit margin of 7.7%.

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