Nissan’s new compact car will be equipped with a Li-Ion battery and inhouse PHEV system that can be recharged at home.
The Yomiuri Shimbun - Sept. 22, 2006
2007 Nissan Altima Hybird - Toyota technology for the last time.
The Altima will be Nisasn’s first and last hybrid using Toyota technology.
Nissan Motor Co. will develop a new hybrid vehicle technology on its own, which would end a joint agreement with Toyota Motor Corp., sources said Friday.
The independently produced low-emission and fuel-efficient models will be released on 2010, the sources said.
In the wake of rising oil prices, demand for hybrid models has grown rapidly, leading Nissan to reconsider its previous stance of cooperating with Toyota on hybrid developments, the sources said.
The new compact car models will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery system and include a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can be recharged at home.
Compared with nickel-hydrogen batteries, which Toyota and Honda Motor Co. have used, the lithium-ion battery has more capacity and can be recharged more quickly.
Nissan and Toyota agreed in 2002 to work together on hybrid vehicle developments. Toyota's hybrid systems will be used in about 100,000 units of Nissan's Altima Hybrid model, which the automaker plans to put on the U.S. market early next year.
However, since Nissan now intends to mass-produce its own models, it is considering using Toyota's systems on just the Altima model sold in the United States.
Toyota likely will agree to Nissan's decision. A representative for Toyota said it would not provide its hybrid systems to Nissan for other models than the Altima unless Nissan requested it to do so.
Nissan had not embarked on full-scale mass production of hybrid cars since it wanted to wait and see which types of low-emission cars would come to dominate the market. The maker has released only hybrid minivans on a limited scale, but as hybrid car sales by Toyota and Honda have grown in Japan and the United States, Nissan decided it would lose market share unless it entered the market with its own models.
Toyota initially considered the joint venture as the best way to promote the use of hybrid vehicles, going as far as to provide its systems to a rival to help hybrid models become more mainstream.
With Nissan showing a serious intent to mass-produce hybrid cars on its own, competition among carmakers over developing low-emission vehicles likely will intensify.