Nissan Hooks Up With China For Big Electric Car Deal

Nissan is expected to enter into an agreement with the Chinese government to provide electric cars and develop charging infrastructure in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The deal could be announced tomorrow.

As part of the deal, the city of Wuhan will be given electric cars and Nissan will develop the charging stations. There is no word on the price of this deal.

The cars could be be like the one pictured to the right. (Here’s a slideshow of other electrics China ought to consider.)

WSJ: Wuhan, which has a population of nine million, is among 13 cities recently chosen by the Chinese government for a pilot program to boost use of new-energy vehicles. Those cities — which also include Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, the country’s biggest municipalities — are supposed to provide subsidies for purchases of all-electric battery cars, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen-fuel-cell cars. They are expected to collectively put 60,000 new-energy vehicles in service in four years.

The industry ministry believes China could learn from Nissan, an experienced advocate of electric propulsion, which has plans for a big global push for its line of small battery cars, starting in 2010. By that year, the company is expected to start marketing a compact all-electric battery car to corporate-fleet customers in the U.S. and Japan. People familiar with the planned Nissan agreement said the joint effort could be extended to more cities, such as Beijing.

In China, Nissan plans to launch the same compact battery car as early as 2011 and is considering building factories to produce batteries and the entire car in China — something Nissan wants to accomplish over the next few years to “be cost competitive,” according to a senior company executive. Some auto makers believe that by 2020, 10% to 20% of China’s passenger-auto sales will come from electric cars, plug-in electric hybrids and other new-energy cars.

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