|Layout of the Nissan X-Trail FCV. Click to enlarge.|
Nikkei. Nissan Motor has set a goal of lowering the cost of fuel cell vehicles to around 1.2 times that of regular mass-produced vehicles by 2015. The current X-Trail FCV prototype has a production cost greater than ¥100 million (US$862,000); a non-fuel-cell X-Trail has a production cost of approximately ¥2 million (US$17,000).
Over the next decade, Nissan will focus on making the fuel-cell stack and hydrogen tanks more compact and lighter. Nissan would like to reduce the incremental 400kg weight in fuel cell vehicles down to 200kg by 2015.
The 70 MPa (10,000 psi) high-pressure hydrogen-powered Nissan X-TRAIL FCV is the company’s most-recent developmental fuel-cell vehicle. Equipped with the first-ever Nissan-constructed fuel cell stack, the X-TRAIL FCV also offers a more compact design and increased power.
The Nissan fuel-cell stack is about 60% smaller compared with the previous stack from UTC on the 2003 FCV model but increases power generation to 90 kW, an improvement of 43% over the older stack’s 63 kW. The FCV uses a lithium-ion battery pack for energy storage.
The prior 2003 FCV offered a cruising range of 350 km (218 miles). With the improved stack efficiency and a 30% increase in storage capacity, the new X-TRAIL FCV is expected to achieve a cruising range of more than 500 km (311 miles)—a 43% increase. The vehicle is currently in testing in Japan, Canada and the US. (Earlier post.)