Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. debuted a prototype of the first Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered vehicle in the world in Brazil. The vehicle runs on bio-ethanol electric power. The pathbreaking all-new light–commercial vehicle, can produce electricity from multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas.
Speaking about the prototype, Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said that e-Bio Fuel-Cell opens up new opportunities in the field of regional energy production while also serving as a means of eco-friendly transportation, all while functioning with the existing infrastructure. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell is set to become even more user-friendly in the future. Ethanol-blended water has great potential to drive market growth and is easier and safer to handle than most other fuels.
The design and development of the fuel cell prototype is part of Nissan’s commitment to develop zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including connectivity and autonomous drive systems. Nissan’s LEAF has already become the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car and the company is pioneering Intelligent Mobility systems that will be used in a range of vehicles over coming years.
The e-Bio Fuel-Cell prototype vehicle uses 100-percent ethanol to charge a 24kWh battery that will provide the vehicle with a cruising range of more than 600km. Nissan will be refining the prototype further after conducting more field tests on public roads in Brazil.
Nissan had announced the research and development of the e-Bio Fuel-Cell in June in Yokohama. The vehicle’s powertrain produces clean energy, is highly efficient, easy to supply, and runs on 100-percent ethanol or ethanol-blended water. The carbon-neutral emissions are environment friendly and part of natural carbon cycle. Also, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell offers the benefits of brisk acceleration and silent driving that an EV has in addition to its low-running costs, while offering the driving range of a model using gasoline.
Bio-ethanol fuels are mainly derived from corn and sugarcane, which are widely available in countries in North and South America. The model will be easy to introduce in these markets as ethanol is easily available. As ethanol-blended water has a low combustion point, use of the vehicles will not be restricted or be dependent on the existing charging infrastructure. Once the prototype has been developed on a commercial basis, people are likely to easily procure the fuel from small retail stores.
Nissan continues to work on its vision for a zero-emission and zero-fatality society by promoting vehicle intelligence and electrification. Nissan’s brand promise of “Innovation That Excites” is delivered with “Nissan Intelligent Mobility”, which is all developing cars with alternative power sources and integrating them into society to provide motorists with the joy of an enjoyable driving experience.
With the e-Bio Fuel-Cell, Nissan is promoting its concept of “Nissan Intelligent Power,” by producing vehicles which combine greater efficiency, electrification of cars and the joys of driving. Nissan’s battery EVs, like the “Leaf”, “Nissan e-NV200,” and the “e-Power,” which is equipped with an engine having an exclusive large-capacity motor and power generator are also part of this range.
Nissan will continue to focus on developing technologies to extract electric power from various fuels, in addition to working on solving infrastructure issues related to energy supply across the world.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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