Nissan Unveils Concept SUV at California Fuel Cell Partnership Grand Opening

Company developing direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicle based on Xterra SUV.

Published: 01-Nov-2000

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., unveiled its initial concept for a fuel cell-powered electric Xterra sport utility vehicle today during the grand opening ceremony of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) headquarters' facility in West Sacramento, CA.

Nissan is currently developing a direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) based on the Xterra, a very popular compact sport utility vehicle. This is a classification offered by no other manufacturer at this time. Although using a larger vehicle such as the Xterra could mean a higher level of fuel consumption, the level of Carbon Monoxide (CO2) emissions will be significantly reduced compared to smaller vehicles utilizing an internal combustion engine.

Nissan has been developing fuel cell technology since the 1970's and began test drives last May in Japan of an FCV equipped with a methanol reformer to generate hydrogen from methanol as the fuel. The Xterra-FCV adopts our original management system, which includes energy, thermal, and water management systems. These management systems are based on a long history of fuel cell technology development as well as actual driving tests of the methanol-FCV. The Xterra-FCV also adopts a high-efficiency neodymium magnet synchronous traction motor combined with a compact and high performance lithium-ion battery. These technologies have already been commercialized in the Nissan Altra EV, Hypermini, and Tino Hybrid.

Nissan joined the CaFCP in March 2000 and plans to begin fleet testing of the Xterra-FCV under the partnership in 2001. The partnership is a voluntary effort to advance a new automobile technology that could move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. By demonstrating fuel cell-powered electric vehicles under real day-to-day driving conditions, the partnership will focus on raising consumer awareness and explore the path to commercialization of fuel cell technology.

In addition to fuel cell vehicle development, Nissan has a long history of environmental accomplishments. Nissan's most recent and notable activities in this regard include:

-- The first automobile manufacturer in the U.S. and Canada to install the

equipment for recovery and recycling of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC-12)

and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC-134a) refrigerants mandatory at all of its


-- Among the first automakers worldwide to eliminate the use of CFCs as a

foaming and cleaning agent in manufacturing processes.

-- Nissan was the only automaker to receive the EPA's "Best of the Best"

award for protecting the stratospheric ozone layer.

-- Nissan is curbing HFC emissions in Japan where there is no government

regulation regarding HFCs.

-- The first automobile manufacturer in the world to introduce a

powertrain system combining direct-injection gasoline (DiG) engine with

a continuously variable transmission (CVT). These vehicles emit far

less pollution yet maintain high power and improved mileage ratings of

50 percent. The DiG-CVT technology was honored with the Energy

Conservation Prize from the director general of Japan's Agency of

Natural Resources and Energy.

-- Nissan was the only automaker to receive the prestigious 1999 Climate

Protection Award from the United States Environmental Protection

Agency. Nissan received the award for its aggressive steps to address

global warming, to reduce hydrofluorocarbons and to improve fuel

economy in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.

-- Development of a gasoline-fueled 2000 model year Sentra CA (for "clean

air") which emits about one-fourth of the unburned hydrocarbon and

one-tenth of the oxides of nitrogen and is the world's cleanest

gasoline-powered car.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at or contact the corporate media line at 310/771-5631.

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