The automaker has announced plans for a fully-electric vehicle by 2010, and says it wants to lead the industry towards zero-emission vehicles.
"The Nissan Motor Company plans to sell an electric car in the United States and Japan by 2010, raising the stakes in the race to develop environmentally friendly vehicles.
The commitment - expected to be announced Tuesday by Nissan's chief executive, Carlos Ghosn - will be the first by a major automaker to bring a zero-emission vehicle to the American market. Nissan also expects to sell a lineup of electric vehicles globally by 2012.
In an interview Monday, Mr. Ghosn said Nissan decided to accelerate development of battery-powered vehicles because of high gasoline prices and environmental concerns, not just because of the need to meet stricter fuel-economy standards."
"Mr. Ghosn declined to disclose details of the electric products and said initial quantities would be small. "We're talking about hundreds of vehicles first," he said.
But he said that the company was determined to achieve "zero-emission-vehicle leadership."
With customers in emerging markets like China and India clamoring for cars, the industry has a responsibility to invest in the cleanest vehicles possible, he said, adding, "The question is how we participate in the growth of emerging markets, while doing it in a way that is not in contradiction with the fact that a lot of people are sensitive to the emission levels and the preservation of the planet.""