Nissan turns to FCV technology

Nissan says it plans to commercialise a new fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology in 2020 as part of efforts to develop cleaner cars. In what it claims would be an industry first, it plans to use ethanol produced from crops including sugar cane and corn to generate hydrogen-based electricity.

Nissan executive vice president Hideyuki Sakamoto said, ‘The cost and energy required to produce hydrogen can be very high, and it also requires significant investment in infrastructure. Compared with that, ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost. These are its merits.’

Nissan believes its technology – which could deliver a cruising range of 800km per fueling – will be ready for use in vehicles in 2020, with running costs roughly the same as electric vehicles.

In developing its FCV technology, Nissan joins Toyota and Honda in a national, government-backed drive to develop a ‘hydrogen society’, in which the zero-emission fuel would be used to power homes and vehicles, and reducing Japan’s reliance on imported fuel sources and nuclear power.