Media group Nihon Keizai (Nikkei) business daily has said in a report that Japanese automotive giant Nissan is planning to develop subcompact electric cars powered by self-developed lithium-ion batteries.

Nissan could bring these vehicles in the market as early as in the next three years. The report also claimed that the company also plans to develop and sell gas-electric hybrid cars by 2010.

This would put them in direct competition with domestic rivals Honda and Toyota both of which are already selling hybrid cars.

Nissan is also going to work hard with their French partner Renault SA to expand their lineup of diesel cars. In addition, there are also plans to develop bioethanol cars. None of the involved companies has yet to comment on these market rumors.