Nissan Motor Co said Tuesday that it's planning to build over 100,000 electric vehicles per year when it begins U.S. production at its Smyrna, Tennessee plant in the next few years, Reuters reports.
The automaker will release its first zero-emission, all-electric car in both the U.S. and Japan next year, and then roll it out worldwide by 2012, the article said. The move would make Nissan--currently the number three Japanese automaker after Toyota and Honda--the first manufacturer to mass-market electric cars in large volumes.
"We have a different strategy from other manufacturers when it comes to electric cars," Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan and French partner Renault, said at a news conference following Nissan's annual shareholders' meeting. "You have to go mass-market to get the cost benefit."
Either way, this is a decidedly different tack than Toyota and Honda, both of which have committed to gasoline-electric hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. Chevy will launch the Volt late next year, but even that car features a gasoline engine (although it's very small and doesn't actually drive the car; it's much closer to an all-electric plug-in than a hybrid).
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