Nissan will launch its own plug-in hybrid by 2015 as part of a new five-year environmental plan that aims to reduce the automaker’s carbon footprint.
CEO Carlos Ghosn said that Nissan will invest 70 percent of its research budget towards the development of environmental technologies, totaling around 300 billion yen ($3.94 billion) over the time frame.
The plug-in will be built on in-house technology. Ghosn also reiterated that the Nissan-Renault SA alliance plans to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles by March 2017, as a means to improve its fuel economy across its fleet in Japan, China, Europe and the U.S. by 35 percent compared to 2005 levels.
Nissan has been aggressively working to increase fuel efficiency and is investing in several efficiency techniques including the use of lighter materials such as “ultra high-tensile strength steel” that will be used in its models beginning in 2013.
Renault-Nissan is also working with Daimler on a new fuel cell electric vehicle.
Under the environmental plan, Nissan will be making changes in its manufacturing process as well. The company will increase the use of recycled materials to 25 percent and decrease its C02 emissions by 20 percent.