Nissan has been building their Altima hybrid cars at their Smyrna, Tennessee plant, which has the capacity of building up to 50,000 vehicles. If demand for the Altima hybrid is great enough, Nissan may just offload some production of the traditional Altima cars to their plant in Canton, Mississippi.
While Nissan may be a bit behind on the hybrid development front, they have consistently been on the forefront when it comes to developing green cars. The gasoline-powered Nissan Sentra has been certified to the California Air Resources Board Partial Zero Evaporative Emissions (PZEV) standard. The new Nissan 350z is certified as an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) under the low-emission vehicle certification system of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan.
In addition, a new offering called the Nissan March is also certified as a ULEV under the low-emission vehicle certification system of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, reducing exhaust emissions by an additional 75% from the levels required by Japan’s 2000 exhaust emission regulations.
Nissan rolled out its Tino Hybrid car in 2000 in Japan to 100 lucky customers. Only the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight beat the Tino Hybrid to market. Nissan’s Tino full-hybrid car sported a 100 hp gasoline engine, two electric motors, lithium-ion battery pack and regenerative braking features. The Tino Hybrid increased fuel efficiency by 50-percent while decreasing pollutants by 50-percent over the standard Tino.
Though Nissan has been making greener cars by optimizing their gasoline engines, they have fallen behind on the gas mileage race. For instance, the green Nissan Senra achieves only 28 mpg city, and 35 mpg hwy, which is nearly half the mileage achieved by the Toyota and Honda hybrid cars. Most likely this is why Nissan is now working with urgency to get into the hybrid market. Nissan is realizing that consumers not only want green cars, but great gas mileage and a lessened dependence upon foreign oil as well.