A look into a possible Nissan EV future

by Ernie Hernandez on September 13, 2012

TeRRA SUV Concept

TeRRA Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to be shown at Paris Motor Show

Nissan released photos and a glimpse into a possible Nissan electric vehicle (EV) future with the TeRRA Fuel Cell Electric Concept Vehicle.

With a LEAF electric motor up front powering the front wheels and two in-wheel electric motors in back, the TeRRA provides all wheel drive (AWD) capability with a zero emission sensibility. For those unfamiliar with the term, a fuel cell according to Merriam-Webster is:

a device that continuously changes the chemical energy of a fuel (as hydrogen) and an oxidant directly into electrical energy

In this instance, Nissan is using hydrogen to generate electricity to power the TeRRA. The in-wheel motors come from the Nissan Pivo, which has already moved through three functioning prototype designs. Nissan has been developing fuel cells since 1996. The cost of the fuel cell stack, while only one sixth of the 2005 version, is still prohibitive. Also, there is very little hydrogen fuel infrastructure in place. This is what we would consider to be a very long lead preview into a potential EV future.

 TeRRA doors open
A somewhat peculiar feature is the staggered interior seating. Each passenger gets their own chair, which is not necessarily unusual, but this particular arrangement is odd.

 

TeRRA SUV interior
An interesting feature is the removable iPad style instrument display. Serving as an intelligent key, when docked it serves as the driver’s display, and when parked will function as a conventional tablet computer. While it can be fun to check out far future concepts, don’t look for any of this technology any time soon on a Nissan near you. Below is a short one minute video.

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