Status of FCV Development at Nissan and Future Issues 2008-01-0423
In the “Nissan Green Program 2010”, released in December 2006, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced plans to offer advanced technology and products to further real-world reductions in CO2 emissions. One solution is the development of a practical fuel cell vehicle (FCV).
In 1996, Nissan began developing an FCV and since 2001, has participated in activities to promote the development and to educate the public on the benefits of fuel cell vehicles by participating in fleet programs in the USA (CaFCP) and in Japan (JHFC). In 2006, limited leasing of the newly-developed 2005 X-TRAIL FCV was initiated in Japan, in the Kanagawa Prefecture and in Yokohama City. In 2007, Nissan provided an X-TRAIL FCV to Kanagawa Toshi Kotsu Ltd., for use as the world's first-ever fuel cell taxi in use on pubric roads.
The 2005 X-TRAIL is equipped with various newly-developed technologies, including a fuel cell stack that was engineered by Nissan in-house. The X-TRAIL FCV has evolved from a test vehicle in 2002 to the model of today, which provides the utility and convenience required by the consumer in the market. The cruising range, acceleration performance and maximum speed are competitive with existing gasoline vehicles. However, to enable commercialization of the FCV, further improvements in performance and durability as well as reduction in cost will be necessary. Therefore, Nissan is investigating several different approaches to reduce cost and improve durability and performance.
The current Nissan R&D activities related to degradation mechanism understanding of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and to possible countermeasures developing for durability improvement is described.