Nissan hybrid cars are
not flowing freely off the assembly line yet. In fact,
only one, the Nissan
Altima Hybrid has rolled out in 2006 for the
Nissan is behind development
on their hybrid cars so they have leased hybrid technology
from Toyota in order to get their cars and SUV hybrids
to market faster.
Nissan has been building their Altima hybrid cars at their
Smyrna, Tennessee plant, which has the capacity of building
up to 50,000 vehicles. If demand for the Altima hybrid is great
enough, Nissan may just offload some production of the traditional
Altima cars to their plant in Canton, Mississippi.
While Nissan may be a bit behind on the hybrid development
front, they have consistently been on the forefront when it
comes to developing green cars. The gasoline-powered Nissan
Sentra has been certified to the California Air Resources Board
Partial Zero Evaporative Emissions (PZEV) standard. The new
Nissan 350z is certified as an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
under the low-emission vehicle certification system of the Ministry
of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan. In addition,
a new offering called the Nissan March is also certified as
a ULEV under the low-emission vehicle certification system of
the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, reducing
exhaust emissions by an additional 75% from the levels required
by Japan's 2000 exhaust emission regulations.
Nissan rolled out its Tino
Hybrid car in 2000 in Japan to 100 lucky customers.
Only the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight beat the Tino Hybrid
to market. Nissan's Tino full-hybrid car sported a 100 hp
gasoline engine, two electric motors, lithium-ion battery
pack and regenerative braking features. The Tino Hybrid
increased fuel efficiency by 50-percent while decreasing
pollutants by 50-percent over the standard Tino.
Though Nissan has been making greener cars by optimizing
their gasoline engines, they have fallen behind on the gas
mileage race. For instance, the green Nissan Senra achieves
only 28 mpg city, and 35 mpg hwy, which is nearly half the
mileage achieved by the Toyota and Honda hybrid cars. Most
likely this is why Nissan is now working with urgency to
get into the hybrid market. Nissan is realizing that consumers
not only want green cars, but great gas mileage and a lessened
dependence upon foreign oil as well.