Nissan wants to put pure electric cars on the streets of Yokohama by 2010. Japan's second largest city is partnering with the Renault Nissan Alliance to study sustainable mobility. This is just the latest development in Nissan's plans to mass produce pure electric vehicles by 2012. The automaker has been slow to embrace the gas-electric hybrid powertrains employed by their competitors. Their lone hybrid offering, the Altima, is only available in nine states and uses technology licensed from Toyota.
CEO Carlos Ghosn is going pure electric or not at all. In July the New York Times quoted Ghosn saying, "I want a pure electric car. I don’t want a range extender. I don’t want another hybrid. It’s not going to be zero emissions in certain conditions. It’s going to be zero emissions.”
The Japanese government selected Yokohama to be an Environment Model City in July. The partnership with Nissan will study methods to mass market electric vehicles, promote "eco-driving," and reduce traffic jams with route navigation systems. The program will contribute to Yokohama's goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% per person.
Will Yokohama be a microcosm of the transportation infrastructure of the future? Could this be the beginning of a PIVO 2 dominated street scape? Time will tell.
Sources: Nissan Global, New York Times