In Brazil, Nissan unveiled its first Solid Oxide Fuell-Cell (SOFC) prototype - the first ever of its kind. Instead of using hydrogen as its basic source of power, it runs on bio-ethanol. Moreover, the new SOFC model can also rely on multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, to produce high-efficiency electricity as a power source.
The prototype model of the Nissan e-NV200 minibus was the first to be equipped with the new series of fuel cells called "e-Bio Fuell-Cells" - today, the car is fitted with fuel cells that are powered by 100-percent ethanol. With 5kW power they provide enough juice for the 24 kWh battery. The fuel tank can be filled with 30 liters of pure bio-ethanol to give the car a cruising range of 600km-Plus.
Research and development of the e-Bio Fuel-Cell technology was announced by Nissan in June in Yokohama. The new powertrain is clean, highly-efficient, easy to supply, and runs on 100-percent ethanol or easily obtainable ethanol-blended water. Its carbon-neutral emissions are said to be as clean as the atmosphere itself, which will be the part of natural carbon cycle.
Bio-ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane and corn. These are the kind of fuels that are widely available in countries in North and South America, which means they also feature a widely-established infrastructure. Due to the easy availability of ethanol and low combustibility of ethanol-blended water, the system does not hevily depend or is restricted by the existing charging infrastructure for the electric vehicles. Because of that bio-ethanol-driven Evs are to be quite easy and simple to introduce to the market. Due to low fuel consumption, Nissan speculates that people in the future may only need to stop by small retail stores to buy fuel off the shelf.
'e-Bio Fuel-Cell', which – to sum up – offers the brisk acceleration and silent driving of an EV, low-running costs, and boasts the driving range of a gasoline-engine vehicle, also forms part of 'Nissan Intelligent Power' concept, promoting the company's ongoing commitment to the development of more efficient zero-emission vehicles.