The van, which has been revealed in Brazil, can be powered by several types of propellant including ethanol, ethanol-blended water and natural gas, with both being converted to electric power using the fuel cell.
This is done by mixing hydrogen created using the fuel with chemicals that react with it to create electricity in the fuel cell stack. The system charges up a 24kWh battery, but the capacity to hold fuel on board gives the van a 373-mile range. That’s significantly more than the 106-mile range in the fully-electric e-NV200 van.
After two years of work on design, engineering and development, Nissan BladeGlider has evolved further into an exciting, real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance. BladeGlider epitomises Intelligent Mobility, a philosophy to make its cars more exciting by redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society.
Given that ethanol derived from sugar cane or corn is common throughout the Americas, this overcomes one of the main problems affecting hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, like the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity: a lack of infrastructure. At present there’s no commercially viable way to generate and distribute hydrogen to vehicles.
With the low combustibility of ethanol-blended water, Nissan sees a future where the fuel might be stocked on the shelves of corner stores or small family-run businesses.