Nissan Begins Selling the Altima Hybrid in Eight States
EERE Network News, February 14, 2007 (3rd item)
Nissan began selling its first hybrid vehicle, the 2007 Altima Hybrid, in late January. The vehicle is assembled in Tennessee and is available in the eight states that have adopted California emissions regulations: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the Altima Hybrid is $24,400, and it also qualifies for a federal tax credit of $2,350. The hybrid vehicle is estimated to achieve 42 miles per gallon (mpg) in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, for a combined fuel economy rating of 39 mpg.
The vehicle mates a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine to an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for a total power rating of 198 horsepower, giving it slightly better performance than the standard 4-cylinder Altima. Nissan offers a 4-cylinder Altima with a CVT for $20,300—$4,100 less than the hybrid—but its combined fuel economy of 25 mpg is less than two-thirds of the fuel economy achieved by the hybrid version.
The Altima Hybrid features a high level of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, power windows/door locks, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary audio input jack, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and dual-zone automatic temperature control that includes an Altima Hybrid-specific electrically powered A/C that continues to provide cooling when the gasoline engine is stopped.
The advanced energy drive system shares duties between the gasoline-powered 4-cylinder and the emissions-free electric motor – allowing the Altima Hybrid to run solely on electric power if appropriate, especially during stop-and-go driving. If extra performance is needed, the gasoline engine starts instantly and smoothly adds power as required. The Altima Hybrid has a hybrid system net power rating of 198 horsepower (148 kW). Acceleration from zero to 60 mph is estimated at about 0.5 seconds quicker than a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder equipped Altima.
The Altima Hybrid utilizes regenerative braking technology to recharge the hybrid system’s batteries. The Regenerative Cooperative Brake System calculates braking force generated by brake pedal operation and controls the regenerative brake force to convert kinetic energy into electric energy, optimizing energy regeneration.
In order to power the electric motor, a generator places resistance on the driveshaft during braking. The system converts this friction to usable energy that is stored in the system’s 244.8V Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery for eventual use by the electric motor.
Altima Hybrid’s electric motor produces high torque at low rpm, allowing it to utilize its Electric Vehicle (EV) mode to power the car from a standing idle and through initial acceleration without the assistance of the gasoline engine. Standing-start acceleration is typically a gasoline-only powered vehicle’s least fuel-efficient stage and Altima Hybrid offers much of its fuel-efficiency benefits here.