Nissan is currently developing the world’s first automotive fuel cell that runs on bio-ethanol instead of the more common hydrogen, the company announced.
The new system features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with a Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC) power generator. It uses hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing electricity to power the vehicle.
Ethanol-blended fuels, including those sourced from sugarcane and corn, are widely available, not to mention easier and safer to handle than most other fuels. The costs are relatively low, as well.
According to Nissan, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell with SOFC affords greater power efficiency to give the vehicle cruising ranges similar to gasoline-powered cars (more than 600 km). Users also enjoy a silent drive, linear start-up, and brisk acceleration.