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.
I hope there will come a time where fuel mileage is not the most important thing you want when you buy a car. Perhaps owning a hybrid will be more prestigious as we move to the future of cleaner air and less ommisions going into our atmosphere. I mean less face it, we are a society of egotism and if we can get people to feel like they are part of an elite group perhaps just knowing that if you own a hybrid you are a somebody. A somebody that cares about their environment and their childrens environment. A somebody that wants to show the world they are Ã¢â‚¬Å“civlisedÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Nissan knows what they should do and they are really among the best car builders of the world. I have no complains with them.