Nissan Shows Electric Cube in Japan

We’ve heard about Nissan’s ambitious plans to bring an electric vehicle to market by 2010, but the automaker today unveiled its first prototype: the Cube EV-02.

As suggested by the name, the prototype is the second Cube to run only on electric power (remember the Denki Cube concept from New York?), although this car sports an electric powertrain that’s much more developed than its predecessor.

In lieu of the usual 1.5-liter I-4 found in the Cube, Nissan’s installed an 80-kW electric motor and inverter, powered by a prototype lithium-ion battery sourced from a joint venture between Nissan and NEC.

According to the company’s plans, Nissan hopes to have an EV launched in Japan by 2010, but available globally by 2012.; Perhaps the Cube – with its five-door practicality, around-town agility, and upcoming Stateside launch – may be the best platform for Nissan’s EV technology to reach the U.S.