>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
As improbable as it may seem, a mass-market electric car has taken center stage at Nissan Motor.
The Nissan brand remains committed to its traditional sedans, coupes, and light trucks. But Nissan also is banking on large-volume sales of affordable electric vehicles, beginning with the 2011 Leaf.
In a May interview, Brian Carolin, senior vice president for North American sales and marketing, said Nissan may create electric versions of its existing big sellers, such as the Altima.
"By the middle of the next decade, or 2015, something on the order of 10 percent of our volume will be EV," Carolin said. "We will see some unique standalone EV vehicles. But in the second generation will come the decision to take an existing vehicle and move the powertrain from internal combustion to EV."