If things go right, we would see Nissan car running on ethanol fuel technology by 2020. The Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer stated on Tuesday that it was working on Fuel Cell Vehicle technology to make ethanol as the main fuel for its line of vehicle.
For that, the company would obtain ethanol from crops like sugar cane and corn, to produce hydrogen based electricity in cars. It would be cheaper than the fuel cell technology developed by rivals like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. This move from Nissan is being looked as to seal the major portion of the car market.
Hideyuki Sakamoto, Nissan Executive Vice President, said that Ethanol is cheaper alternative for fuel than hydrogen as latter requires high cost, energy and strong investment. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said, “The cost and energy required to produce hydrogen can be very high, and it also requires significant investment in (fueling and storing) infrastructure. Compared with that, ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost. These are its merits.”
He also added that the Nissan would launch the cars with the same technology in 2020.
Nissan also revealed that the technology would target on the vehicles with cruising range of nearly 800 km per fueling. According to the leading Japanese automobile company, ethanol is cost efficient than the conventional fuel. But company declined to say anything on the vehicle pricing.
Ethanol has been the strong alternative of conventional fuel sources in some nations like Brazil. However, Nissan would be using it as to generate electricity in fuel cell stacks to charge batteries to operate the cars.
With the development of FCV technology, Nissan has joined the league of its arch rivals, Toyota and Honda to produce the clean fuel for homes and vehicles to make Japan less dependent on imported fuel and power technology.
On the other hand, its rival Toyota has teamed up with the Mirai to produce FCV in 2014 while Honda has entered into partnership with Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle. But Nissan’s technology is different from its rivals as it doesn’t need hydrogen to be stored in vehicles, thereby reducing the needs of the large hydrogen tanks. In this way, Nissan’s upcoming ethanol vehicles wouldn’t have to rely on the fueling station, which are rare to find like the conventional one.