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Nissan Debuts Hybrid Technology

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On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 11:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Debuts Hybrid Technology

Nissan may be a leader in terms of electric vehicles, but it's lagged behind the competition in terms of hybrid technology. It debuted the Altima Hybrid in 2007, but chose to just borrow Toyota technology instead of developing its own. The Altima Hybrid has been Nissan's only hybrid offering and was recently canceled from its 2012 lineup. While Toyota and Honda offer cars like the Prius, Fit and CR-X, Nissan is essentially hybrid-less.

Well, Nissan announced its very own hybrid system last week, and it intends to bring it to the US market within about two years.

Nissan's newly announced hybrid system uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor, lithium ion battery and twin-clutch box. It is basically the hybrid system from the Infiniti M35h Hybrid with the four-cylinder in place of the 3.5-liter V-6 and reworked for a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

The system will use a new version of Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission, which Nissan claims will deliver a fuel economy bump of up to 10 percent. The new CVT will debut ahead of the hybrid in 2012.

Nissan claims that the system will deliver the power of a 3.5-liter engine while boosting both highway and city fuel economy. Nissan plans to get the system to the US market by 2013, and we'd expect to see it debut on a retooled Altima Hybrid.

Nissan is also hard at work on a fuel cell vehicle, which it hopes to launch sometime after 2015. Fuel cells are similar to electric vehicles, but use a hydrogen-fueled cell to generate electricity in place of a large battery. Emissions from pure hydrogen are only water and heat, so you get the same zero tailpipe emissions as an EV.


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