Vaulting the competition: Nissan plans electric car by 2010

Vaulting the competition: Nissan plans electric car by 2010

The Nissan Denki Cube may provide the platform for Nissan's production electric car. CNET Networks

For all of the buzz surrounding General Motors' Chevy Volt, it now looks like Nissan may well be the first major automaker to market with an electric car in the United States. A line item buried in Nissan's mid-term business plan reaffirms the company's commitment to "zero-emission vehicle leadership," with a plan to introduce an all-electric vehicle in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 and then mass-market vehicles to consumers globally in 2012. In an interview in today's New York Times, Nissan's boss, Carols Ghosn, said that the company was looking at a range of electric models starting with small city cars, but eventually including minivans, crossovers, and commercial vehicles. At the weekend, Ghosn took the wraps off a Renault-branded electric demonstration vehicle in Israel, where Nissan has a partnership with California-based Project Better Place to provide electric vehicles and half a million electric-car charging stations over the next three years. A more likely vision for Nissan's electric car, however, is the Denki Cube, which Nissan unveiled at this year's New York auto show.

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