Nissan presented showed off prototypes of their new electric and hybrid cars, both of which they expect to see sometime between 2010 and 2012. The electric vehicle (who knows what it will eventually look like?) will go on sale in Japan in 2010, and will be mass marketed globally in 2012.
The good news is the new hybrid will come with the Lithium Ion battery pack. The bad news is there seemed to be some issues with the hybrid according to the reporters who were there for test rides.
Shown on an Infiniti luxury model, it seemed to lurch a little when the gas engine kicked in as speed picked up.Warts and all, the new Nissan hybrid is good news. The current Nissan Altima Hybrid runs using the Toyota Synergy Drive. With their own hybrid system in place, Nissan will be able to expand their hybrid line-up.
Plans are for their first hybrid systems to show up in their Infiniti line-up, thus allowing them to charge more and not lose money as they build up enough production to cut down on the costs the hybrid system brings.
Press Release Follows:
TOKYO (August 6, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled all-electric and original hybrid electric prototype vehicles, both powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries. Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012.
Electric Vehicle (EV)
Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, the EV prototype is part of Nissan’s substantial research and development program on zero emission vehicles. This latest generation vehicle features a front-wheel drive layout and uses a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space.
The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The Nissan original HEV delivers two breakthrough technologies – a high-performance rear-wheel drive hybrid system and parallel-powertrain hybrid system. The hybrid employs Nissan’s own originally developed hybrid technology and its first rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.
The parallel-powertrain system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.
The parallel-powertrain hybrid system eliminates the need for conventional torque converters, contributing to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for improved driving feel.
The dynamic characteristics of the clutches are as follows:
* Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
* Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
* Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
* Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.
The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in both prototypes are sourced from the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). These advanced batteries offer superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness, compared to the conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries. Its compact laminated configuration delivers twice the electric power compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration. The compact batteries also allow for improved vehicle packaging and a wide range of applications.
Nissan has long experience in electric-powered vehicle development, commencing from the first EV "Tama Electric Vehicle" back in 1947. The company introduced the world’s first application of lithium-ion batteries to the Prarie Joy EV in 1996, followed by the ultra-compact electric vehicle, Hypermini, released in 2000. Nissan also introduced its first original hybrid vehicle Tino Hybrid back in 1999 in Japan. In 2006, the Altima Hybrid was introduced in North America using licensed technology.
Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan, the company aims to develop new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources. Nissan continues to invest substantially in a wide range of technologies including CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), clean diesels, biofuels and fuel cell vehicles.