EV technology finding its way into Nissan Hybrids

by Ernie Hernandez on March 29, 2013

Pathfinder Hybrid

Pathfinder Hybrid to be the first

The first all Nissan hybrid was not a Nissan at all – it was an Infiniti. The M Hybrid though is a hybrid of a different breed. The M Hybrid is all about performance, to go with its fuel economy. We first wrote about both the Infiniti M Hybrid and this new Nissan hybrid powertrain over 18 months ago (found here). With acceleration of 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds, and highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon, the M Hybrid is an impressive (if expensive) automobile.

When we first wrote about this new Nissan hybrid drivetrain, we posited that it was likely to debut in the Altima. We were wrong as it will first be offered in the 2014 Pathfinder later this year. The Pathfinder offering will be a supercharged 2.5 liter four cylinder with 250 horsepower and Nissan’s continuously variable transmission. Mated to this will be a 15 kilowatt electric motor tied to a “compact” lithium ion battery, according to Nissan. The combination returns city fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon (MPG), 27 highway MPG and 26 combined MPG. This compares to the gasoline powered fuel economy of 20 MPG city, 26 MPG highway, and 22 MPG combined, or an 18 percent improvement in combined fuel economy. We do expect to see a variant in the Altima also, and perhaps other Nissan sedans as well.

In Nissan’s press release for the new hybrid system, they mentioned the possibility of a smaller 2 liter supercharged four cylinder. When used in a compact or perhaps mid-sized sedan, expect to see a more powerful electric motor and larger battery pack. Look for the Altima hybrid in the 2014 model year.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve April 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

You forgot the previous hybrid which used tech licensed from Toyota. Wasn’t that also an Altima?

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) April 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Hi Steve – I likely should have been more clear about that. The key words of this article are the first five – The first all Nissan hybrid. You are correct that the previous Altima hybrid used Toyota technology. In my view, Nissan stopped producing the previous Altima hybrid when they did to have a model year barrier between Toyota hybrid technology and Nissan hybrid technology. I may be all wrong about that, but my sense is that they didn’t want their customers confusing the two systems.

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