It runs on ethanol.

One of the biggest problem with current fuel cell electric vehicles is that they need hydrogen to run, but there’s no infrastructure for the gaseous fuel. A new innovation from Nissan could solve that nagging issue because the Japanese automaker has a system that runs on multiple fuels, including ethanol. The tech is still in the prototype phase, but it can already travel 373 miles (600 kilometers) in an e-NV200 van.

Nissan unveiled the concept Solid Oxide Fuel Cell at an event in Brazil. In prototype form, it currently runs on pure ethanol, but Nissan says the system could eventually use a mixture of ethanol and water or natural gas. These fuels are already available at gas stations around the world and have an existing production infrastructure, unlike hydrogen.  

The e-NV200 prototype has a 24-kilowatt-hour battery and 7.9-gallon (30-liter) fuel tank. Nissan doesn’t specifically address the vehicle’s fuel economy, but the automaker’s figures suggest it averages about 47 miles per gallon of ethanol. The company will now continue developing the tech and will perform a test on public roads in Brazil in the future. Nissan will aim to have the system on the market as soon as 2020.

The only major downside to the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell is that it still produces some carbon dioxide. However, Nissan claims the amount is roughly equal to what the plants, which generate the fuel, produce. Therefore the system would be carbon neutral, the automaker alleges.

Source: Nissan

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