2015: Nissan Launches Plug-in Hybrid image

Nissan Motor Co. is planning to launch in 2015 a plug-in hybrid, developed in-house, as part of a £2.5 billion investment over the next five years in ‘Green’ cars.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn reiterated the joint goal of the Renault-Nissan alliance to sell over 1.5 million plug-in electric vehicles by the end of the 2016/17 financial year and thus to become the leader of the zero-emissions segment, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent per vehicle compared with 2005 levels. Nissan also aims to improve fuel efficiency of its vehicles by 35 percent compared with 2005.

“More consumers are demanding products in line with their values, including cars and trucks with a lower carbon footprint,” Gnosh told reporters at company headquarters. “At the same time, we are using technology to make our factories greener and more efficient.”

Around 70 percent of Nissan’s investments in advanced research and development will be guided towards environmental friendly technologies, for a total around 300 billion yen ($3.94 billion) over the same period. Current researches include a new fuel cell electric vehicle developed with Daimler.

Electric cars remain a niche market so far. The company, which is 43.8 percent owned by French partner Renault, has sold about 16,600 Leaf cars around the world since they went on sale in December 2010 and plans to add a further seven models across the group. But competition in electric vehicles is likely to intensify as others, such as Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., enter the sector.

Toyota already offers plug-in hybrid cars, which run partly as EVs but switch to become regular hybrids with gas engines when they run out of the electric charge.