In a recent press release from Nissan, a senior product planning official leaked words that Nissan will make an upcoming announcement about its plans to produce a plug-in EV for the U.S. market by 2010.
This recent announcement means that Nissan will launch a plug-in EV in the U.S. market two years before it will launch on a global scale. Nissan previously had stated that they would bring a plug-in EV to market by 2012, but apparently they will be two years ahead of schedule for the U.S. market only.
In a discussion with Motor Trend, Nissan officials confirmed that they had been talking about the possibility of a plug-in EV sooner than expected in the U.S. and they also stated that significant technology and product announcements regarding the EV will be made before the end of the year.
Word about possible EV models that Nissan will produce is unavailable at this time. However, Nissan has confirmed that the upcoming plug-in EV will not be based off of any of its current platforms and will have a unique design.
Currently, Nissan is testing a plug-in EV and made one available for test rides during an electric vehicle show. The concept works off of an 80kW electric motor in a front wheel drive configuration, powered by lithium ion batteries that are located in the floor portion of the vehicle. There is no word if this or a similar model will be the first plug-in Ev from Nissan in the U.S. in 2010.
Nissan released this statement in regard to the expectations of EV models, "EVs aren't for everyone, but for thos whose household's can accomodate a third vehicle, or have fixed commutes of moderate distance, they will be great, and environmentally friendly transportation solution."
Look for updates about the 2010 Nissan EV when more information is available.
Source: Nissan, Motor Trend