Nissan unveils EV 'Concept' – but long way from market

Hot on the heels of General Motors' EN-V, it was Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co's turn to show off its idea of pollution-free mobility this week.

The company showed a two-seater electric vehicle resembling a go-cart at its Yokohama headquarters on Monday. It isn't ready for sale, but spotlights the automaker's ambitions to be the leader in zero-emission cars.

It's called the Nissan New Mobility Concept. The company said the two-seater's size means anyone can drive and park it easily. Its manoeuvrability is said to be equivalent to that of motorcycles, but with greater safety - and like all electric concepts, it promised no emissions while being driven.

It is being pitched as a private commuter vehicle in the mornings and evenings, and as a corporate car during business hours.

While the concept is probably years away from production, if ever, Nissan already has an actual electric car due to go on sale. It is partnering with Renault to launch the Leaf - the first 100 per cent electric, mass-marketed, zero-emission car - in December 2010 in Japan and the United States, and in early 2011 in Europe.

Nissan is planning to produce 250,000 electric vehicles a year. Its alliance partner Renault SA of France is planning to produce another 250,000 electric vehicles a year.