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Pininfarina Unveils Nido EV Prototype

The Nido EV. Click to enlarge.

Leading automotive design group Pininfarina unveiled the Nido EV, the first running prototype of the “Nido Development Program”, the project for an electric car conceived, designed and built entirely by the Pininfarina Style and Engineering Centre of Cambiano (Turin). The Nido EV prototype is a designed both to explore the electrification of a small city car and to develop a modular floorpan.

The Nido EV prototype is propelled by a 30 kW, 125 N·m (92 lb-ft) synchronous permanent magnet motor powered by a 21.2 kWh, 278V Zebra Z5 Ni-NaCl battery. When fully charged, it has a range of 140 km (87 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), limited electronically, and accelerates 0-60 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

Interior of the prototype. Click to enlarge.

Charge time for the battery is 8 hours.

The body structure of this first prototype is a tubular steel frame, while the final version will have an aluminium space frame. The structure was designed to adapt to four different, completely electric or hybrid vehicles: 2-seater, 2+2, pickup and light van.

The Nido Development Program also envisages the development of two more, slightly larger versions: the first will be a hybrid with an engine positioned at the front and a motor at the rear; the second will be electric with a front motor.

The Nido Development Program will use an AC electrical compressor and a high voltage electric heater making it possible to implement automatic control strategies which will help to reduce consumption in most conditions.

The Program will also cover research into solutions and light-weight components with a high mechanical/electrical efficiency, and energy saving solutions (batteries with outstanding charging performance) and braking systems specifically for hybrid/electrical applications.

Pininfarina is also collaborating with the French company Bolloré on the BlueCar EV development.The BlueCar is powered by a BatScap lithium metal polymer pack. (Earlier post.)

We will continue to ‘dress’ technology, and we will offer even more industrial design services, continuing to play a key role as a design house and an innovative partner with unique skills, able to provide solutions that can translate into competitive advantage for our clients.

Consistent with our industrial plan, we will maintain our commitment to sustainable mobility, in other words both the development and production of electrical vehicles (cars and buses), and research into both alternative components and materials, and aerodynamic shapes that can help to make vehicles lighter and reduce their consumption and emissions.

—Pininfarina CEO Silvio Pietro Angori



Pinifarina always has a good eye for looks.

Two things:

1. Aluminum space frame?.. how expensive is this thing?

2. Zebra battery.. I thought they were extinct.

Why did they choose a Zebra?, they have a modest energy density.. the iron phosphate cells have the same durability and better energy density.



Some Iron Phosphate cells can charge faster, too. Maybe they wanted arbitrary differentiation.


We need some clarification from the well-known Zebra advocate, Henry Gibson.


Find the Zebra battery details under:


No Zebra batteries are not extinct but alive and well. GE's Durathon battery which was just announced is based on Zebra technology.


The energy density seems to be around 116 Wh/Kg. Not bad for a Zebra type battery pack. Wonder how it is kept hot while parked?


Just like SOFCs, they keep the batteries in a vacuum box. The heat loss is minimal encased in a vacuum because there is no air to conduct the heat.

Nat Pearre

I like this car. I'm a believer in the idea that, since 65% of US households own more than 1 car, there's no need for an EV to be more than a competent city/commute/everyday car, and "the other" car can sit around for those rare occasions when you need more than XX miles of range.

But I dislike Zebra batteries

"Wonder how it is kept hot while parked?"

Ay, there's the rub. If you use your car for 4 trips a day it might be fine, but if you leave it sitting for a weekend, or a week (as I tend to) or a month at a time, you have serious parasitic heating loads to worry about.


It's a prototype - a real car would have normal batteries and cost a bit more
Or an ICE –
- but no matter

If only it would become popular to drive a competent little car; this car, or many others like it would do just fine - If only
How in the $#^* did SUVs become popular - for 10 + years?
And they STILL ARE -

. Nooo, it was NOT brainwashing, or GM, it was, and is us.

This car is not too ugly - if it were actually a little elegant, it might start an avalanche - the "SUV" of the 2010s, a mini. Yee - Ha


Actually SUVs became popular because of lawyers and accountants. They could show a prospective buyer that it was more "economical" to buy a bigger vehicle;


There was a huge tax break if you bought a vehicle over 6000 pounds. It was meant for capital equipment, but professionals got such a break they were buying Hummers.


That was incredible but SUVs flooded the roads well before this big vehicle give-away


"How in the $#^* did SUVs become popular - for 10 + years?"

The first SUV tax break came into effect in 1997 - 13 years ago.


I hope the Nido EV sees production soon! I hope it gets front wheel drive (for better regenerative braking!) and it would be great to see a 24-28kWh lithium (iron or manganese) battery pack in the floor. Another (likely) improvement if they dropped the Zebra battery might be a *much* smaller air grill on the front?

If only the Toyota/Scion iQ looked this smooth! Or, the Murray T27...

Sincerely, Neil


It wasn't tax breaks, brainwashing, or anything else. SUVs became popular because they're roomy and comfortable. I know it's hard to believe, but people like those things.

Penalty boxes like the Nido may someday become popular, but it will have to be on their own merits. Tax breaks and green propaganda won't do the trick.


As I do not own a SUV I'll have to take your word on that but I've never associated the words "roomy and comfortable" with the words 'sport' or 'utility.'


@ Mathew & anyone else on the "Why SUV?" question.

I can offer a simple psychological reason SUV's were popular for a decade.

When I was in school my family owned a heavy Chevy van for a family business, that we would occasionally loan to my debate coach for away tournaments. My very cultured teacher, who normally drove a tiny Corrolla, changed dramatically behind the wheel of a 3 ton vehicle, sitting about 2 feet higher above traffic than she was used to. She suddenly turned into a bold, cocky driver like a queen on a throne, who was sure other cars would now scurry out of her way. It was a power trip, plain and simple. Cupholders and spaciousness had very little to do with that allure.

It wasn't until flipping Ford Explorers that SUV drivers had to realize there were dramatic trade offs for that size rush.


I can believe that. There was a study done which showed the larger the car that someone drove = the more they acted like a jerk.


Sounds like your 'cultured' debate coach had repression issues from being crammed into that tiny Corolla of hers. God only knows what would happen if she were forced to drive a Nido every day.


Think what would have happened if she had skipped her meds before driving the van - Road Warrior.

Or if Evil Knievel had driven a van instead of those wussy cycles.

I see about 4 times as many little cars careering wildly down the road as vans.

Will S

The advertising budget for SUVs versus economy cars was something like 25 to 1. SUVs had tremendous margins, so they were heavily pushed on the population. Advertising works (or else it wouldn't be relied upon) and the results are obvious.

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