Electric car from Nissan will be sold here in & 10 UTSanDiego com

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Nissan Electric Cars

Electric car from Nissan will be sold here in 10



Nissan is partnering with San Diego Gas Electric to sell its new all-electric car here next year.

The automaker will show off a prototype of the car to people who manage fleets for large companies, universities and municipalities at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego today, though the company insists the way it drives is more important than the way it looks.

“This is not a test and demonstration, but a true market introduction,” said Mark Perry, Nissan’s director of product planning and strategy.

The five-passenger compact is expected to go 100 miles on a four-hour charge of its lithium-ion batteries, he said.

The car being shown off has all the technology of the new car – batteries, motor and the like – but it’s housed in the shell of another model, the Nissan Cube.

“This is not a glorified golf cart,” Perry said. “This is a real, true electric vehicle and a vehicle you as a consumer would be happy to put in your garage today.”

Nissan is waiting until later to announce some key details about the car, things like the name, the price and how it looks.

Perry said the car will be priced to compete with the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima, which sell for $20,000 to $33,000.

“We’re not going to be charging a premium for this car, batteries included,” he said.

General Motors has a plug-in vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, which is expected in dealerships next year.

Pricing is a key issue, said John Clark, whose Virginia company, Gridpoint, is working to integrate electric cars and the power grid.

“Companies like Nissan and GM, their goal is to build a car they can sell,” he said in an interview this year.

Nissan Electric Cars

Unlike hybrid cars, which use a combination of gasoline and electricity for propulsion, electric cars rely entirely on electricity.

The Nissan is designed to be cost-effective as long as gas prices stay above $1.10 a gallon, Perry said.

Though most electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels, electric cars cut greenhouse gas emissions because they are more efficient, experts say.

Perry said Nissan picked San Diego because the region has a large number of electric-vehicle enthusiasts, local governments have expressed interest in the car and SDGE is partnering to install charging stations.

SDGE has committed to buying 15 to 20 of the cars for its fleet and to work with other fleet purchasers to set up the special chargers and meters the cars will require.

The utility’s goal is to start with about 100 cars on the road for municipal, university and corporate fleets as a way of testing the viability of the electric car, said Bill Zobel, SDGE’s manager of clean transportation.

Nissan has similar partnerships in Oregon, Tennessee, Sonoma County and Tucson.

Buyers of the car should be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit under the federal stimulus package.

President Barack Obama is a supporter of plug-in cars, talking them up Thursday during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Nissan Electric Cars
Nissan Electric Cars

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