Kevin Bullis

A View from Kevin Bullis

Nissan Unveils an Electric-Vehicle Platform

The prototype electric-drive system is built into one of the company’s existing vehicles.

  • July 27, 2009

Today in Tokyo, Nissan showed off a prototype of its electric-vehicle battery platform incorporated into one of its existing vehicles, the Tiida.

The platform will be incorporated into a new vehicle body that will be unveiled at the beginning of August. It consists of a highly rigid body (designed to reduce vibrations and increase the car’s durability), an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack built into the floor of the car so that it doesn’t eat into cargo space. The production version of the vehicle will go on sale next year, the company says, and get 160 kilometers–100 miles–on a charge.

That short range could be one reason why the company is also marketing a new “EV-IT” system, equipping the electric vehicle with information-technology features to allay range anxiety. These include a map that shows the maximum distance the car can drive based on its current state of charge, as well as the locations of charging stations within reach. The system can also be set so that the vehicle charges at night, which could save people money if utilities start charging rates that vary by the time of day. The system also can send a message to the driver’s cell phone when charging is complete.

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