Nissan Motor Co. plans to release a gasoline-electric version of its Altima sedan in 2006 in the U.S., in a bid to be profitable on its second attempt to sell so-called hybrid cars, according to the Detroit News.

The new car will be able to travel 35.5 kilometers per liter of gasoline, similar to the Toyota Prius, Senior Vice President Sadao Sekiyama told reporters at a media tour at the Oppama factory in Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo.

Hybrids combine a gasoline engine with a battery pack and electric motors to cut tailpipe exhaust and fuel use. Such components add at least $3,000 to the price tag.

Nissan sells about 200,000 Altimas a year in North America.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials

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