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Nissan flexes green muscles, unveiling road-going advanced zero-emissions vehicles

NISSAN has unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design.

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And in a show of strength, the company has also shown off the world’s first Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered prototype vehicle in Brazil that runs on bio-ethanol electric power (full details below).

The BladeGlider vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally-friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.

Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said: “These prototypes epitomise Nissan’s drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility strategy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that. It’s the electric vehicle for car-lovers.”

The debut of the BladeGlider prototypes forms part of Nissan’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including autonomous drive systems and connectivity. Nissan already sells the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car, the LEAF, and is pioneering Intelligent Mobility systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles over coming years.

With the BladeGlider, Nissan’s vision was for an agile, efficient EV that would provide new dimensions of driving fun and excitement – a car that would ‘glide’, thanks to the near-silent performance of its electric powertrain and aerodynamic shape.

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After two years of work on design, engineering and development, Nissan BladeGlider has evolved further into an exciting, real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance. BladeGlider epitomises Intelligent Mobility, a philosophy to make its cars more exciting by redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society.

The demonstration models feature an advanced chassis configuration with a narrow front track and wider rear track for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability.

High-waisted, rear-hinged dihedral doors provide a dramatic entry and exit to the cabin. The open roof of BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the exhilaration of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupé.

Wheel-mounted controls for BladeGlider’s systems feed into an advanced display showing speed, state of battery charge, regeneration mode and torque map. Flanking the central display are two screens, with the images of rear-view cameras mounted just behind the front wheels. An alternative to door-mounted mirrors, this dual screen design improves the aerodynamic efficiency of BladeGlider. The driver sits in arrowhead formation slightly in front of two passengers, who enjoy extended legroom. The view for all occupants is panoramic, thanks to the seamless cockpit windscreen.

Power is 100 percent electric, with exceptional powertrain performance delivered by Nissan’s technical partner for the BladeGlider project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering. Maximum speed of the demonstration models is in excess of 190km/h*, with 0-100km/h taking less than 5 seconds*. The rear wheels’ drive is provided by two 130kW electric motors – one for each wheel.

The system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance.

Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring systems has three settings: off, agile and drift mode.

Power is supplied by a high performance five module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors.

The interior of the BladeGlider reflects the vehicles’ sporting intentions, with four point safety harnesses for each occupant. The seats offer exceptional support to sides and legs of the driver and passengers. The seats are trimmed in a highly tactile blend of fabric and epoxy resin coating, resulting in a tough and grippy material that has the effect of comfortably adhering occupants securely in place.

There are two colour trims – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange. These colours are used for the upper portions of the seat back, and framed with a silver reflective material to create an eye-catching, sporty look. The base of the seats are in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.

Key specifications:

Top speed > 190 km/h (115 mph)*
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) < 5 seconds Power 200 kW (268hp) Torque 707Nm Weight 1,300kg Length 4,300mm Width 1,850mm Height 1,300mm Wheelbase 2,800mm The breakthrough SOFC mode is an all-new light–commercial vehicle, that can use multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, to produce high-efficiency electricity as a power source. 1231004_Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Prototype Vehicle_03

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Ghosn said: “The e-Bio Fuel-Cell offers eco-friendly transportation and creates opportunities for regional energy production…all the while supporting the existing infrastructure. In the future, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly. Ethanol-blended water is easier and safer to handle than most other fuels. Without the need to create new infrastructure, it has great potential to drive market growth.”

The fuel cell prototype forms part of Nissan’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including autonomous drive systems and connectivity. Nissan already sells the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car, the LEAF, and is pioneering Intelligent Mobility systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles over coming years.

In this latest zero-emission development, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell prototype vehicle runs on 100-percent ethanol to charge a 24kWh battery which enables a cruising range of more than 600km (373 miles). Nissan will conduct further field tests on public roads in Brazil using the prototype.

Its carbon-neutral emissions are as clean as the atmosphere, which will be the part of natural carbon cycle. Also, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell offers the brisk acceleration and silent driving of an EV, along with its low-running costs, while boasting the driving range of a gasoline-engine vehicle.?

Bio-ethanol fuels are mainly sourced from sugarcane and corn. These fuels are widely available in countries in North and South America, which feature widely-established infrastructure. Due to the easy availability of ethanol and low combustibility of ethanol-blended water, the system is not heavily dependent or restricted by the existing charging infrastructure, making it easy to introduce to the market. In the future, people may only need to stop by small retail stores to buy fuel off the shelf.

The e-Bio Fuel-Cell will realize the concept of “Nissan Intelligent Power,” promoting greater efficiency and electrification of cars and the joys of driving, alongside battery EVs, such as the “Nissan Leaf”, “Nissan e-NV200,” and “e-Power,” which is equipped with an engine housing an exclusive large-capacity motor and power generator.