Nissan's Electric Car Prototype: Rough Draft of the Car of the Future?
Nissan Expects to Produce 150,000 Electric Cars by 2012
On August 2nd, Nissan will unveil its new electric car in Japan, but in the meantime, we can have a look at the prototype that Nissan has been using to test their electric drivetrain. It's based on the Nissan Versa, but the gasoline engine has been replaced by an electric motor developed in-house. It has a power rating of 80kW/280Nm (107 horsepower/206 pound-feet of torque). That's a lot of torque for a car this size. Read on for more technical details and many more photos.
24kWh Li-Ion Battery in the Car's Floor
The 24kWh battery is based on a lithium-ion chemistry, and it is located under the vehicle floor for "more efficient packaging". This has three main benefits that I can see: 1) A lower center of gravity, 2) it doesn't reduce cabin or cargo space, and 3) Nissan says that the "battery layout also allows smooth underfloor air-flow which helps reduce drag."
There are images of the battery layout below.
Using the Onboard Computer to Show Battery Range, Charging Stations
Nissan also promises that its EV will be a very connected car, with technology at work to reduce "range anxiety". The electric car's navigation computer can show the driver, at the touch of a button, the driving radius within range under the current battery charge, and the system can also calculate if the current destination is within that range. No more guesswork.
The range is about 100 miles (160 km), but Nissan says that regenerative braking can help extend that. It depends on driving conditions (city vs. highway).
The onboard computer will be able to download information about nearby charging stations, with detailed information about each.
A Quiet Drive
Nissan writes: "High durability is achieved by employing an additional frame for the battery pack to significantly improve the rigidity of the platform. The combination of a high rigidity platform and electric powertrain minimizes vibration and external sounds to produce a quiet and pleasing drive."