Mike Stevens | Jun 24, 2009

NISSAN ANNOUNCED today that it plans to mass-produce a range of zero-emission electric vehicles from 2012, to be offered through its dealerships worldwide.

Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said Nissan would unveil its first electric vehicle in Japan on August 2, this year, and begin sales to the Japanese market next year.

The company will then move to begin sales in the US after April 2010, with other international markets to follow in 2012.

Japan's number three carmaker will produce its electric vehicles in Japan and Europe, as well as its Tennessee plant in the US, and is aiming at an initial output of more than 100,000 units per year.

The news follows a US$2.1 billion loan given to Nissan by the US Government to assist in the production of green cars.

"The U.S. is going to be a very important market" for the company's electric vehicle strategy, Mr Ghosn told shareholders.

"I can tell you I'm not at all worried about how to sell these cars because there is an appetite for zero-emission cars."

While no specific details have been offered on the technology or styling of Nissan's electric vehicle range, Mr Ghosn said the cars will be offered at "a very reasonable price."

Nissan's CEO went on to say that more expensive electric vehicles like the Mitsubishi i MiEV and the Subaru Stella are niche products, whereas Nissan plans to offer a more affordable solution for environmentally-conscious buyers.

Nissan Australia Corporate Communications Manager Jeff Fisher confirmed to TMR that Nissan's electric vehicles would arrive in Australia in 2012.

"Yes, it’s part of our product plan. It will be available next year in the US and we expect it to have it here in 2012,” Mr Fisher said.

“The first car will be a five-seater family hatch, with small crossovers and commercials to follow. A concept version will be unveiled in the US in August this year.”

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