Nissan continues to innovate in the automotive industry. The company said they were working on a fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology that would ethanol as a hydrogen source. The company hopes to have overhauled their entire fleet of vehicles to work on cleaner energy sources by 2020. The company indicated that they would be using sugar cane and corn crops to produce the ethanol.
Nissan's 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 fuelling and storing infrastructure. Compared with that, ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost. These are its merits."
The move to ethanol would be an industry first, and would be very efficient. Nissan implied you would be able to drive at least 372 miles on a single tank. This would be competing with the Tesla Model S's estimations. The Tesla is rumored to only being able of reaching 253 miles before it needs a full recharge.
The official name of the technology is Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC) technology. In their press release, the company said the system is powered by the e-Bio Fuel-Cell (the ethanol) and is driven by the SOFC power generator that turns the fuel into electricity.
"In addition, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell car's distinct electric-drive features -- including silent drive, linear start-up, and brisk acceleration -- allow users to enjoy the joys and comfort of a pure electric vehicle (EV).
So, it's lithium-ion vs ethanol in the future, then? Perhaps. Manufacturers are lining up to see what the preferred method of powering electric vehicles will be. However, both technologies are leading to a zero-emissions future and that's a good thing. Which technology looks most promising to you? Let us know in the comments section. You can also read Nissan's press release announcing the ethanol fuel cell: HERE