Already having made waves with the popular Leaf, automaker Nissan Motor Co announced plans to launch a hybrid vehicle in 2015 as part of a new 5=year environmental plan. All research and development will be conducted in-house, according to Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.
Nissan’s investment in environmental technologies is supposed to be 70% of its investments – about 300 billion yen (around $3.9 billion USD) – as regulations for emissions and fuel consumption grow stricter worldwide. Its aim is to achieve 35% improvement in fuel economy (on average, for all of its vehicles in Japan, China, Europe, and the United States) when compared with 2005 with the new technologies they’re planning to develop.
Hybrids, EVs, and Fuel Cells, Oh My!
Fuel economy isn’t Nissan’s only goal, though. Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA are aiming to lead the zero-emissions charge with the sale of 1.5 million battery electric vehicles by March 2017, but research and development don’t come cheaply. Those costs will be shared by equity partner Daimler AG, with plans for not only battery electric vehicles and the aforementioned hybrid, but also fuel cell vehicles.
In a news conference, Ghosn said:
“When you combine the research and development budgets and the investments of these three companies you have the largest one in the industry. Nobody matches us.”
With such spectacular resources at hand, if Nissan doesn’t come up with an equally spectacular product, I for one will be massively disappointed. (And probably buy a SmartCar instead.) What would you like to see from Nissan, Renault, or Daimler AG? Let us know in the comments, below.
Source: Reuters | Image via Wikimedia Commons.
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