Nissan serious about electric cars?

Neat article today about Nissan’s electric future. Sounds like Nissan is skipping this sissyfooting with hybrids and going straight to electric powered vehicles. They currently buy hybrid systems from Toyota for the Nissan Altima hybrid, but, according to Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan Motor Co. Executive Vice President, “Hybrids may not be all that special.” This makes sense, you can drastically simplify a vehicle when you don’t have to worry about the exhaust, heat, and fluids included in a combustion system. In 2007, Nissan established a new company—Automotive Energy Supply Corp. (AESC) with the goal of dramatically enhancing future battery performance and reducing battery costs; most likely with electric vehicles in mind. Now Nissan has an electric car prototype in the works called the Cube, that was shown at the 2008 New York auto show:

Electric Cube

In the article, Yamashita hints that the car will likely not, in fact, be shaped like a cube in order to minimize wind resistance. That’s sort of going to change the whole theme don’t you think? Maybe this skipping the hybrids deal is not a good idea. We don’t want 20 years of hype generating electric prototypes that keep getting mysteriously delayed. Whew, anyway, I’m hopeful Nissan will do the right thing.

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