Nissan’s Hybrid Plans

by Ernie Hernandez on January 27, 2013

Hybrid drivetrain

15 Hybrids due by 2016

With the cautious reception by the American public of Nissan’s LEAF all electric vehicle (EV) since its debut in December of 2010, Nissan has decided to step up its game in the hybrid arena. The segment is currently owned by the Toyota Prius family, with others present in the market also. Nissan sees potential to open the door to EV sales with new hybrid products.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2016, Nissan plans to launch 15 hybrid vehicles globally by 2016. The program also seeks to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturer in all aspects of its business – sales, service and administrative offices. Thus far, Nissan has improved fuel economy an estimated 19 percent since 2005. The goal of the program is to continue that improvement. Nissan’s Altima offers class leading combined fuel economy, as does the Sentra compact sedan. Most consumers focus on the highway fuel economy number as that is what all of the manufacturers tout in their ads. But the reality is that the combined fuel economy number is much more realistic of what could be expected by most drivers. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has changed their fuel economy information on the the vehicle window sticker to focus on combined fuel economy, rather than city and highway numbers (found here). The city and highway numbers now take a back seat to the combined number.

That’s not to say that Nissan is backing away from EVs. The all electric e-NV200 van has been undergoing real world tests for some time. We wrote about the official confirmation of the e-NV200 in March of last year (found here). This vehicle is the electric version of the 4-cylinder vehicle that was tagged as the next New York City taxi for the next 10 years.

Look for Nissan’s new hybrids to use variations of LEAF technology as the electric half of the hybrid powertrains.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

L. David Roper March 6, 2013 at 6:14 am

Are details available about the drive train for the Nissan hybrids?

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) March 6, 2013 at 11:32 am

Mr. Roper – Welcome to Living LEAF. Nissan has provided no details about a future Nissan hybrid drivetrain, but one can look to the Infiniti M Hybrid as a pattern. Here is the language direct from the M Hybrid press kit:

Efficiency – utilizing the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid™ system, with a powerful yet compact Lithium-ion battery pack, advanced 3.5-liter V6 engine, 50kW electric motor, connected to an electronic 7-speed automatic transmission, helps achieve fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon Highway, 27 mpg City and 29 mpg combined

Here is a link to the entire press release (found here). As opposed to using the V6 as in the Infiniti M Hybrid, look for the use of a four-cylinder, possibly turbo- or super-charged.

As mentioned in the article, Nissan is looking to the LEAF technology to incorporate into future Nissan hybrids. The Infiniti Emerg-e hybrid concept offers two electric motors mated to a conventional gasoline engine, so they are certainly considering multiple possibilities. Here is a link to the Nissan Global site with additional information on the development of their current hybrid drivetrain (found here).

I hope that helps.

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