Nissan has joined Honda and Toyota in launching an eco-friendly hybrid auto.
The Japanese-market Tino, a “tall wagon” first produced as a gas-only vehicle in 1998, combines a 1.8 liter DOHC engine with a synchronous AC motor backed by lightweight lithium-ion batteries.
A continuously variable transmission keeps both power plants spinning at optimum RPM’s, while the vehicle’s computer system selects electric-only, gas-only, or combined modes, depending on road speed and acceleration demands.
The gasoline engine switches off automatically when the vehicle is stopped, and regenerative braking converts a portion of the Tino’s momentum back into electricity, recharging the batteries.
A liquid-crystal display keeps the driver informed of operating conditions and presents in-car navigation data.
Nissan plans to deliver 100 Tino Hybrids to test public reaction before establishing a production commitment. The company has not announced plans for a Canadian model.