Despite reports to the contrary, Nissan is not anti-hybrid. In fact, the Nissan Altima Hybrid is arguably has just the right combination of power, style and fuel economy to be a mainstream hit. So why isn�"t the Altima Hybrid�with its compelling combo of power, handling, style, and fuel economy�well known from coast-to-coast?
Because it�"s only available in nine states: California and the eight states that have adopted California's emissions rules: Oregon, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. (Even with its limited availability, the Altima Hybrid outsold the Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Highlander Hybrid in May 2010. See our hybrid and diesel market dashboard.)
When the 2011 Altima Hybrid is introduced later this year, it will once again be limited to those nine states. This probably has a lot to do with Nissan wanting to downplay the viability of hybrids, as it focuses on a rollout of its all-electric Nissan LEAF. Keep in mind that the LEAF for the first year or so will also be limited to key markets on the West Coast, in Arizona and Tennessee. (The Chevy Volt is also geo-targeted to California, Michigan and Washington, D.C.)