Nissan unveils new prototype electric car

Mumbai: Japanese carmaker, Nissan, has unveiled a new prototype electric vehicle with batteries twice as powerful as conventional technology, as part of its research and development programme on zero emission vehicles.

The automaker said that the boxy-shaped car with the front-wheel drive, has a newly developed 80-kilowatt motor with advanced lithium-ion batteries installed under the vehicle's floor to avoid taking up space.

The laminated batteries, jointly developed with electronics giant NEC Corporation, pack twice the electric power of conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries currently used in hybrid and electric cars, it said.

The Nissan electric will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model. The company aims to start selling the electric car in the United States and Japan in 2010 and the rest of the world in 2012.

Nissan has been slower than rivals Toyota and Honda to embrace petrol-electric hybrids, but Japan's third largest carmaker aims to become the industry leader in electric vehicles.

Nissan is also developing hydrogen fuel-cell cars as well as its own hybrid system, predicting that zero-emission vehicles will take a 15 per cent share of the global auto market in the future.

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