/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Nissan's finally put its ethanol fuel cell into a vehicle

Relying on bio-ethanol to generate electricity, instead of compressed hydrogen gas, Nissan is hoping that its latest powertrain innovation will keep us from relying on complicated new infrastructures.

andrewkrok.jpg
Andrew Krok
Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
1 of 19 Nissan

This isn't your average Nissan NV cargo van.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
2 of 19 Nissan

It's outfitted with Nissan's e-Bio Fuel Cell, which generates electricity using sustainably sourced fuel.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
3 of 19 Nissan

It runs on bio-ethanol, which can be pulled from sugarcane and corn.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
4 of 19 Nissan

That bio-ethanol is placed into a fuel cell, where it reacts with a catalyst to create electricity.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
5 of 19 Nissan

The only byproduct is water -- no emissions here.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
6 of 19 Nissan

This prototype is based on the e-NV200, an all-electric van.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
7 of 19 Nissan

The bio-ethanol fuel cell provides electricity to a 24-kWh battery.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
8 of 19 Nissan

Nissan estimates that its prototype can drive for 373 miles on a single tank of corn juice.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
9 of 19 Nissan

The goal is to create an electric vehicle that uses sustainable fuel but achieves the range of a gas-powered car.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
10 of 19 Nissan

Another benefit of bio-ethanol over hydrogen? It doesn't require a complicated new infrastructure.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
11 of 19 Nissan

Right now, most fuel cells operate on compressed hydrogen gas.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
12 of 19 Nissan

One big issue with using hydrogen is that it requires a whole new, expensive infrastructure.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
13 of 19 Nissan

That means hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are limited to small pockets of the country that have shelled out for hydrogen filling stations.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
14 of 19 Nissan

This ethanol fuel cell, on the other hand, can be filled up much as a normal gas car would.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
15 of 19 Nissan

Nissan even envisions a future where you can run into a shop and buy a bit of bio-ethanol before hitting the road again.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
16 of 19 Nissan

The automaker is starting public tests of its prototype.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
17 of 19 Nissan

It'll soon hit public roads in Brazil.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
18 of 19 Nissan

Both North and South America are great sources of bio-ethanol.

Nissan e-Bio Fuel Cell Vehicle
19 of 19 Nissan

Could corn juice be a more useful fuel than compressed hydrogen gas? We'll find out!

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
The new Kia Niro crossover has a lot more style

More Galleries

The new Kia Niro crossover has a lot more style

8 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2022 Bentley Bentayga S is sporty and serene

More Galleries

2022 Bentley Bentayga S is sporty and serene

40 Photos