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Nissan models, news & reviews
By Jonny Smith
08 August 2008 10:14
Nissan has fallen behind domestic rivals like Honda and Toyota in the green stakes. Both have hybrids on sale in the UK but Nissan has nothing. To match the pair Nissan has decided to make a fully electric vehicle (EV) the main pillar of its eco strategy, with plans to have an EV in production by 2010. Luckily Nissan’s had its fingers in the electric pies since 1996. with a lithium-ion Prairie concept. Ugly on the top, but with clear futuristic thinking beneath.
Ignore the current-shape Cube body – it’s merely the guinea pig for the platform hidden underneath. It houses a bank of lithium-ion batteries and promises to drive and act like a proper car. That's why we've just jetted to Nissan’s Oppama Plant test track in Japan to go for a silent spin…
Definitely not, according to Nissan’s senior vice president Minoru Shinohara. The EV will have a totally unique platform and body, which will probably start life as one style and then multiply into mini-MPV and coupe variants. It will be a B-segment (Cube-sized) or C-segment car though, and its looks will be key to drawing in electric sceptics.
Click 'Next' below to find out how the Nissan EV drives
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Nissan EV-02 prototype (2008) electric CAR review
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RE: Nissan EV-02 prototype CAR review
I think electric car makers are missing a trick here by making their cars so turbine smooth. Half of the world's potential purchasers might be more interested if the vehicle wobbled like a washing machine as it got up to speed...
Seriously though, batteries are the future. All this talk of hydrogen cells is great, but in a world of climate change where water supplies are coming under ever more pressure, putting millions of water-consumming acrs on the road would be a disaster. Better to centralise energy production and reap the benefits of scaled efficiency.
19 August 2008 10:15
I thought a petrol or diesel lost about 60% of its energy in heat but if it is 80% then you've identified where I think real efficiency gains will come for the ICE in the next decade.. water cooled engines could generate steam power to drive systems or power up a battery. There's life in the old dog yet as a doubling in efficiency is possible if the heat can be utilised and I'm pretty sure it can match the (cost) efficiency of a coal or gas fired power station.
08 August 2008 23:02
The EV-02 and it's future competitors will live or die on the basis of practical considerations - not the degree to which any individual consumers choice will save the planet. If liquid fuels for internal combustion engines continue to rise because it's raw material costs increase and electricity costs do not rise as quickly because of efficiency gains, then it will be cheaper to charge an electric car than to fuel an internal combustion one. In that light, the EV-02 makes sense. Those who run numbers might want to consider that 80% of the energy from combustion in a piston engine is lost to heat, whereas electric power plants can do better than that, and there is room for efficiency gains. In the long run, a kw from your home outlet can be more efficiently produced (regardless of fuel used) than a kw produced by an internal combustion engine. Nissan has also committed to selling this car in California to meet that states zero emissions vehicle requirements. Already people in California are charging their plug-in hybrids (local conversions of standard ones) from the solar cells on the roof of their homes. Are there many people still unclear on the concept? Of course. I've seen Priuses lined up to buy firewood. The environment would be better off if they used gas heat and drove Hummers. Try telling them that ...
08 August 2008 18:22
CAR - Have you kindly worked out what the criteria is for a 'green' car and inclusion in the 'Green Cars' section. If this Nissan is included because "it is a full electric vehicle.. the main pillar of its eco strategy.. by 2010" can I advise if it runs in Britain its electricity will be generated by 40% coal, 38% natural gas and 18% nuclear (I make that 80% hydrocarbons). Alternatively it is because you think Japanese electricty is greener than Britains can I advise Oil is (48%) of Japanese Total energy use leaving Coal (21%), Natural Gas (14%), Nuclear (12%), Hydroelectricity (4%) making their electricity (so around 80% hydrocarbons). So is 'being green' running on 100% electricity made by burning 80% hydrocarbon fuel?
08 August 2008 17:08
I suspect the reason behind the Japanese shift to encourage electric is Nuclear. The Jap Govt subsidised Toyotas hybrid technology, which Toyota in a fizz flatly refute (so you know its true), with the long term aim of moving away from imported oil, natural gas and coal and into nuclear (imported Uranium - can't see a difference!). Like Britain they'll find it hard enough to build enough Nuclear plants to keep up with household/consumer demands and industry to take on the ambition of replacing the 45% of the energy reuired fro tansportation. America has just switched on the taps and removed a ban on offshore drilling which will take 5 years to work through into higher supply. But supply isn't the problem with high oil prices, we have oil and gas coming out of our ears for the next 100-200yrs. The 'problem' is speculation leading to higher prices. But the offshore drilling reduces the futures speculators which in turn reduces current oil prices so it works at reducing current prices. With many countries favouring a bigger shift to nuclear, including America, what do you thinks going to happen to the Uranium price? So if a country has any sense it'll keep its eggs in all the baskets (hydrocarbon and nuclear). I haven't mentioned bio-fuels and renewable energy but they're leightweights and not worth the breath or economic credability to be included in the same sentance as the heavyweights of energy.
08 August 2008 16:09
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