Nissan recently launched it’s new Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell in a prototype variation of it’s NV200 van.
This van has already seen a fully electric version to add to it’s arsenal of model variations, however, the new fuel cell would give an added range of over 100 miles to that of the full electric – (373 in total).
The new cell works by taking chemicals from the bio-ethanol and reacting them with Hydrogen, converting the energy to charge a 24kWh battery. These fuels are sustainable, being made from sugar can and corn and are also (relatively) widely available (if you happen to live in North or South America…). The idea is that the fuel would be more easily accessible than Hydrogen. Whereas Hydrogen extraction takes A LOT of energy, produced by fossil fuels, the production of bio-ethanol offer a much reduced carbon footprint and the fueling infrastructure wouldn’t have to change so much for it to be provided to consumers.
Whilst more and more vans are sporting Euro 6 compliant engines in their newer models, this Nissan could be a step ahead in the game as the market for lower emissions in commercial vehicles grows faster each year; not to mention this could provide yet another solution to the decline of fossil fuels.