Audi to debut hybrids here this fall

JIJI

Audi AG will sell gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in Japan starting this autumn, the chief of the German automaker’s Japan unit said.

The hybrid releases will start with the A6 sedan, followed by the A8 sedan, said Hiroshi Okita, president of Audi Japan K.K.

Audi previously wanted to sell a hybrid version of its Q5 sport utility vehicle first in Japan.

Howevr, the debut of the Q5 hybrid is now likely to come after the launch of the A8 hybrid.

At this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours sports car race in France, Audi achieved a third straight victory with its diesel hybrid vehicle. The automaker has already unveiled plans to market the model across the globe in 2014.

Serena hybrid planned

Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday it will mount a simple hybrid system in the Serena minivan, which is scheduled to be upgraded in August.

Because the system has relatively smaller storage cells, the Serena gasoline-electric hybrid will be roomier than its peers with conventional hybrid systems, Nissan officials said.

However, the simple system allows its motor to provide driving power to the vehicle only for two seconds in the initial acceleration, while conventional hybrid system motors can do it longer, according to the officials.

The Serena’s motor will chiefly be used to generate electricity with its regenerative braking system.