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2010 Infiniti G37 Hybrid Sedan  (Source: AutoblogGreen)

Nissan EV-02  (Source: AutoblogGreen)
Nissan hybrid vehicle prototype uses rear-wheel drive

Nissan pulled the wraps off a pair of prototype vehicles today – one is an all-electric and one a hybrid. Both of the vehicles take advantage of new lithium-ion batteries that Nissan and NEC jointly developed. The two vehicles were developed under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan.

The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in the prototype vehicles feature a compact, laminated configuration that delivers twice the electrical power when compared to traditional cylindrical configurations. Nissan says that the compact design of the batteries allows for improved vehicle packaging and a wider range of applications when compared to traditional batteries.

The full electric vehicle uses the advanced batteries along with a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. Nissan says the electric vehicle uses a front-wheel drive configuration and that the advanced laminated batteries are installed under the floor of the vehicle. The laminated design of the batteries means that the vehicles interior and storage space are not sacrificed to battery storage. Nissan says that the full electric vehicle will go into production in 2010 and will feature a new and unique body style not based on existing Nissan vehicles.

Nissan's prototype hybrid electric vehicle introduces a pair of new technologies Nissan says are breakthroughs -- a high-performance rear-wheel drive system and a parallel-powertrain hybrid system. Nissan says that both the hybrid technology and the rear-wheel drive are original designs -- in this case, the system is placed within a 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan.

Nissan's parallel-powertrain system connects one motor directly to an engine and transmission via two clutches. This layout allows the vehicle to switch between the dual clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization and improve fuel-efficiency. Nissan says its parallel-powertrain eliminates the need for typical torque converters and contributes to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration.

Nissan describes the action of the hybrid system as:

  • Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
  • Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
  • Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
  • Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

Nissan isn’t alone in introducing new hybrid vehicles. Yesterday DailyTech reported that Honda was bringing the Insight back to the U.S. as a 2010 model for an MSRP of $18,500. The Insight is rumored to get over 70 miles per gallon.



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why no awd setups?
By tastyratz on 8/7/2008 9:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see an awd configuration for some of the new electric hybrid setups that come out.

An electric motor when not in use is a generator much like an alternator. I think it would be an excellent idea to have one for the front as well as rear axles. The car could be 2wd in normal driving with a secondary auxiliary motor for passing maneuvers. This would allow them to use a smaller more energy efficient motor for standard driving and an additional one for more grunt when needed (and for more traction in the winter).




RE: why no awd setups?
By Phlargo on 8/8/2008 11:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I don't understand something.. why would AWD be useful in passing?

I mean, if you were to do an emergency lane change, it might save your ass, but that's about all I can think of.

I certainly can't argue with their applicability to cold or wet climates, however.


RE: why no awd setups?
By tastyratz on 8/8/2008 1:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
the reason it would be useful is 2 fold:
1 an additional engine means more power. you can have 2x 50ft/lb tq engines or 1x 100ftlb engine to get from A to B... but the point is you might only need 50ft/lb's for highway driving and slow traffic. That would be when the other engine isn't activated and instead functions as a generator.

The rear wheels are already spinning when the vehicle is in motion - this would just harness some energy from whats otherwise lost entirely as drag.

The other bonus is the performance driving aspect - the car could selectively choose fwd/rwd/awd based on traction conditions an "sport mode" selection.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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