Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) announced its latest R&D fruit to the world by introducing the world’s first Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power. The innovation called “e-bio Fuel Cell” extends automotive’s driven distance to more than 600km per full tank.
SOFC is a fuel cell utilizing the reaction of multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen to produce electricity with high efficiency. The e-Bio Fuel Cell generates electricity through the SOFC (power generator) using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell utilizes hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing electricity to power the vehicle.
Fuel-cell systems use chemicals that react with oxygen, generating power without release of harmful byproducts except CO2, yet the whole system remain net-zero because a certain volume of CO2 has been consumed by bio-ethanol materials such as sugarcane and corn.
Nissan believes that the e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly than most other fuels in the future. According the Nissan’s evaluation and calculation, e-Bio Fuel-Cell’s running cost could be reduced to as low as JPY3.1 per km, only a little higher than JPY2.9 per km of EV and significantly lower than JPY9.0 per km of traditional gasoline-fueled cars.