Dec. 11, 2006: MarketWatch—Nissan Unveils Projects to Curb Emissions

Summary: "Nissan Motor Co. Monday unveiled its technology development roadmap for the next four years, including its first rollout of gasoline-electric vehicles, joining rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the hybrid car market.

Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said at a press conference that the projects are efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the company’s new vehicles by 70% over the next several decades to 2050.

Nissan’s approach indicates that the auto maker will focus on improving technologies for conventional internal combustion engines in the short term, while developing new hybrid and electric vehicles in the longer term. This is similar to strategies taken by Honda, which has said that improving gasoline and diesel engine technologies is essential, with electronics devices providing support to those engines."

Nissan’s move toward cutting-edge technology in fuel economy and emission reduction is welcome, but what took them so long? Just last week, Ghosn was still protesting that battery technology wasn’t advanced enough for hybrids to make economic sense.

It seems to be working quite well for Toyota and Honda—someone must have recalled that old saw: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

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