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Nissan Altima Hybrid

The Nissan Altima Hybrid made its debut in October 2006 at the Orange County Auto Show in Anaheim, California.

Reports state that the Nissan Altima Hybrid is focused as much on power as it is on fuel efficiency. The Altima Hybrid went on sale April 2007 in the U. S. and Japan.

The Nissan Altima Hybrid will be using technology developed by its archrival Toyota in order to shorten the developmental phase of bringing a hybrid car to market.

In 2002, Nissan signed an agreement with Toyota to produce 100,000 vehicles over 5 years using Toyota's transaxle, inverter, battery and control unit. The electric motor and gasoline engine will be manufactured by Nissan. The Altima Hybrid will use its own 175 hp DOHC 2.5-liter gasoline-powered 4-cylinder engine combined with a high-torque 100 hp electric motor to produce a high-performance green mean machine. The precise gas mileage has not been announced but Nissan expects the final numbers to be around the 40 mpg range.



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Like its archrival's power train system, the Altima Hybrid will operate on electric-only power at low speeds, internal combustion engine power at higher speeds, and both electric and gas when power needs are the most. The Altima Hybrid will also use its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for smooth acceleration and handling.

According to hybridcars.com, Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn says that the introduction of a hybrid Altima in 2007 was intended to help Nissan comply with fuel economy and emissions standards in states like California, not because he expects the hybrid model to make money or to fulfill any kind of corporate environmental goals. But, according to the Nissan website, "The major environmental advantages of hybrid vehicles are low CO2 emission and cleaner exhaust gas. Nissan will continue to develop hybrid vehicles not only as means of complying with environmental legislations but as key technology to deliver new value to customers."

No matter who said what, though, Nissan is getting into the hybrid game. The winner will be the consumer, the environment and the automobile companies themselves. Even though Nissan may be jumping into the hybrid game a bit late, they have been a friend of the environment for many years.

Nissan offered the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certified Sentra CA (Clean Air), in the U. S. in February 2000, as the world's first gasoline Vehicle to receive Zero Emission Vehicle credit from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The Sentra met all other requirements including zero evaporative emission from the fuel system and the on-board diagnosis level 2(OBD-II). Nissan also introduced the Bluebird Sylphy with a 50-percent reduction from the Japanese Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards.

Nissan will be building the Altima Hybrid at its Smyrna, Tennessee plant, spending over $10 million for upgrades before production begins. The plant is not expected to be expanded, though new tools and training will be involved in building Nissan's new hybrid. As most of the other big automakers are either developing or leasing hybrid technology with an eye to the future, it is imperative that Nissan get into the hybrid game. Since Altima has been a very popular seller for Nissan for several years now, one cannot doubt that the Nissan Altima Hybrid will be a big hit as well.