Nissan finally eases into hybrids

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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Nissan has finally decided to hop on the green highway. It's launching a hybrid and has plans for a fuel cell car, but Nissan has ways to go to catch up to its rivals. From the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has argued for years that current hybrid technology is too expensive for customers and car makers, but now the company's changed gears.

Nissan says it will make vehicles that cut carbon dioxide and other exhaust emissions.

The hybrid Altima will launch next spring using Toyota's technology, and a fuel cell car will be ready by 2010.

Peter DeLorenzo with AutoExtremeist.com says Nissan's playing catch-up with Toyota, Honda, even GM and Daimler Chrysler, that have all had hybrids for years.

PETER DELORENZO:"You're going to have to watch Nissan as far as competitiveness goes is in the '09, '10, '11 time frame, when some of these other manufacturers research projects really start to come to fruition."

Nissan also announced a plan to cut CO2 emissions at it manufacturing plants.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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