Nissan plans plug-in hybrid and hydrogen

* Nissan plans plug-in hybrid by 2015 * Hydrogen fuel cell due by 2017 * Plug-in expected to be larger model - like the Qashqai...

Nissan plans plug-in hybrid and hydrogen

Nissan is planning to release a plug-in hybrid version of one of its cars within the next two years.

A plug-in hybrid will go on sale as early as 2015, while the company is also planning to release a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2017.

Nissan's executive vice-president for product planning, Andy Palmer, said that a plug-in hybrid, 'tends to lend itself to bigger, C or D segment cars'.

He also hinted that Nissan would put the technology into an existing car, rather than release an all-new bodystyle, as it did with the electric Leaf.

Palmer said: 'Hybridisation is a derivative, a way of improving the combustion engine. It all needs to come together in a slippery [shaped] car.'

One likely plug-in hybrid recipient is the Nissan Qashqai, as Palmer said: 'If I was to pick a vehicle that would fit with a plug-in hybrid then a crossover would be that vehicle.'

Although the next Qashqai is set to be visually different to the current model, there should still be plenty of room for it to carry plug-in hybrid technology and retain its practicality.

Palmer said that the hydrogen-powered vehicle, due two years after the plug-in hybrid, will go into a car that is based on a new platform that is not part of the current line-up.

By Tom Webster

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