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Forget Electric Cars, Nissan Says It Will Have Ethanol-Based Fuel Cell Technology By 2020

Forget Electric Cars, Nissan Says It Will Have Ethanol-Based Fuel Cell Technology By 2020

Electric vehicles are so 2016.

Japan-based Nissan Motor Co (Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTC: NSANY)) said on Tuesday it is currently developing a fuel cell vehicle technology that uses ethanol as a hydrogen source to develop a line of cleaner cars.

According to Reuters, Nissan is exploring the use of ethanol produced from crops such as sugar cane and corn to generate hydrogen-based electricity for its vehicles. These vehicles could have a range of 800 kilometers per fueling (497 miles) and have running costs for consumers that are on par with electric vehicles.

The publication noted that this fuel source would be cheaper to develop versus its peers and could give it a notable competitive advantage.

Related Link: Fitch Rates Nissan Auto Least Trust 2016-A

"The cost and energy required to produce hydrogen can be very high, and it also requires significant investment in (fueling and storing) infrastructure," Reuters quoted Nissan Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto as saying. "Compared with that, ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost. These are its merits."

Nissan joins its fellow Japan-based peers including Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE: TM) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: HMC) to develop a government-backed initiative to develop a future "hydrogen society" to lower the country's reliance on imported fuel sources and nuclear power. However, Nissan's technology does not require hydrogen to be stored in the vehicle, which reduces the needs for large hydrogen tanks and does not require fueling stations.


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