Malcolm Flynn | Dec 17, 2012

Nissan has revealed plans to launch 15 new hybrid models within the next four years. The announcement was made this week, along with further updates on the Japanese giant’s eco targets.

Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, announced the drastic hybrid expansion plans, but did not offer specific details regarding segments or bodystyles.

Significantly, the Japanese arm of the Renault/Nissan alliance currently produces just one hybrid model - the Infiniti M35h luxury sedan.

Previously, Nissan produced a hybrid version of its US-market Altima mid-sizer (new model launching locally in 2013) between 2007-11, using licensed Toyota hybrid technology and sold in just ten US states and Canada.

A new-generation Altima hybrid is likely, while the smaller upcoming Pulsar and X-Trail SUV are also likely ranges to add such a variant.

Twelve months ago, Nissan announced the development of a supercharged, 2.5 litre petrol four with electric motor and lithium-ion battery hybrid system - potentially to be used across several models.

Infiniti’s close emulation of Lexus’ GS 450h hybrid sedan with its own M35h suggests that hybrid versions may follow Lexus strategy of offering hybrid variants across several of its models.

Specifically, this could mean hybrid versions of the Infiniti G mid-size sedan, next generation M sedan, and SUV models.

Such expansion through the Infiniti range has already been hinted at by the Essence, Etherea, and Emerg-E hybrid concepts.

This would be in addition to the pure-electric production version of the LE concept - already confirmed for 2014.

Nissan’s announcement also included a “commitment to zero-emission leadership", suggesting that its pure-electric offerings will expand beyond the existing Leaf hatch and upcoming production versions of the LE and e-NV200 concepts.

While Nissan is planning for an even greener future, Shiga-san is satisfied with the company’s progress to-date with reduced emissions.

“Thanks to environmentally friendly technology and new products, we are completely in line with our targets for the reduction of C02 in the usage of vehicles", Shiga-san said.

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