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Nissan Offers Fuel-Cell Test Drives to Japanese Consumers

Layout of the FCV components. The test-dive vehicle in Japan in using 35 MPa storage rather than the 70 MPa.

Nissan Motor is offering consumers the chance to test drive its X-TRAIL fuel cell vehicle (FCV). The test drive program will be offered for up to a year from Nissan’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Starting in June, the hydrogen-powered model will be available for test driving every weekend. The schedule for the rest of the year will be announced at a later date.

Nissan will use the feedback generated from customer test drives, as well as data acquired through public-road testing in Japan and overseas, for its ongoing FCV development.

The current generation of the X-TRAIL FCV features a Nissan-developed fuel cell stack that has a power generation capacity of 90kW giving the model a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). The test-drive vehicle in Japan uses a compact, 35 MPa (5,000 psi) hydrogen storage cylinder resulting in a cruising range of more than 370 km (230 miles). The model was approved for public road testing by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in December 2005.

Nissan also has developed an X-TRAIL FCV with a 70 MPa (10,000 psi) storage cylinder that supports an increased range of more than 500 km (311 miles). This vehicle is currently being tested on roads in Canada. (Earlier post.)

The X-TRAIL FCV uses a lithium-ion battery pack for energy storage.

In addition to the public test drive in Tokyo, Nissan will also participate in several FCV-related events in Japan and abroad this June, including the Challenge Bibendum and the 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, both in France.

Nissan began full-scale development of FCV technology in 2001. In addition to the design and engineering work conducted in Japan, extensive testing and development has been conducted in other markets, most notably the US, where Nissan is a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP).



The range numbers look decent, but I have 2 questions:

1. Do all fuel cell vehicles have on board energy storage
(ie. lithium ion batteries/capacitors)?

2. Has Nissan stated or researched where all the Hydrogen
will come from?


I'd like to know what these vehicles cost to make at this time so we can have a better picture of the amount of time it's going to take to be competitive with straight battery EV technology, and then eventually conventional vehicles.


Chysler had the right idea with NECAR, reform methanol to hydrogen onboard for the fuel cell. No compressed hydrogen required by using a liquid fuel that can be distributed with existing methods.

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