Nissan Reveals Hybrid G35 Prototype, All-Electric System, Upgraded Fuel Cell Stack

Nissan yesterday unveiled prototypes for both a new all-electric powertrain vehicle as well as the first pictures of a prototype hybrid powertrain built on an Infiniti G35. Both systems would be run off a new lithium-ion battery pack system.

We knew Nissan was working on a new electric car and yesterday the company revealed that the FWD platform will use a new high-density Li-Ion pack that sits underneath the floor (and out of the way) providing power to an 80 kW motor. Though we still expect a Denki Cube, the new flagship electric vehicle will now apparently not be based on any current platform.

The new parallel drive hybrid system in the Infiniti features an electric motor coupled with a gasoline engine like most other HEV systems. Similar to the Lexus LS600h, the Nissan version involves a larger engine, in this case a V6, powering the rear vehicles. In order to achieve more linear acceleration, there are two clutches between the motor and the V6 engine. Nissan is apparently testing this system out now but there's no sure word on where the system will see use, though the RWD layout hints at an Infiniti product. Both the electric and hybrid systems are supposed to see production by 2010.

Finally, the fuel cell stack Nissan is developing is now cheaper, stronger and smaller than the previous generation. One of the biggest achievements is reducing the use of expensive materials like platinum, which serve as catalysts. Engineers have also increased power output, allowing them to decrease the overall size of the system. The hope is to put this new generation into use in the next decade. Full press release below:

NISSAN PREVIEWS NEXT GENERATION ENVIRONMENTAL VEHICLES
- All-electric and original hybrid electric prototypes unveiled -

TOKYO (August 6, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled all-electric and original hybrid electric prototype vehicles, both powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries. Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012.


Electric vehicle (Test vehicle) Hybrid vehicle (Test vehicle) Lithium-ion battery


Electric Vehicle (EV)
Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, the EV prototype is part of Nissan's substantial research and development program on zero emission vehicles. This latest generation vehicle features a front-wheel drive layout and uses a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space.

The production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The Nissan original HEV delivers two breakthrough technologies - a high-performance rear-wheel drive hybrid system and parallel-powertrain hybrid system. The hybrid employs Nissan's own originally developed hybrid technology and its first rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.

The parallel-powertrain system comprises an energy-optimizing system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimize and conserve energy utilization as well as improve fuel-efficiency.

The parallel-powertrain hybrid system eliminates the need for conventional torque converters, contributing to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for improved driving feel.

The dynamic characteristics of the clutches are as follows:
Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

Lithium-ion Battery
The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in both prototypes are sourced from the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). These advanced batteries offer superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness, compared to the conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries. Its compact laminated configuration delivers twice the electric power compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration. The compact batteries also allow for improved vehicle packaging and a wide range of applications.

Nissan has long experience in electric-powered vehicle development, commencing from the first EV "Tama Electric Vehicle" back in 1947. The company introduced the world's first application of lithium-ion batteries to the Prarie Joy EV in 1996, followed by the ultra-compact electric vehicle, Hypermini, released in 2000. Nissan also introduced its first original hybrid vehicle Tino Hybrid back in 1999 in Japan. In 2006, the Altima Hybrid was introduced in North America using licensed technology.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan, the company aims to develop new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources. Nissan continues to invest substantially in a wide range of technologies including CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), clean diesels, biofuels and fuel cell vehicles.

[Source: Nissan, Green Car Congress]