Imagine your electric toothbrush, the one that’s supposed to come the closest to a dentist cleaning at home. According to an article in the Guardian this morning, the people at Nissan created an EV based on that technology.
No, the new Nissan Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) will not get those hard to reach places or remove pesky plaque. It will charge without the hassle of plugs. The charging is based on electro-magnetic field technology, using induction in the same way your Sonicare charges on its base stand.
The ZEV is a five-seat, family-sized car with a top speed of 90mph and a battery range of around 100 miles.
David Bott, Director of Innovation Programs at the Technology Strategy Board, is quoted: “If you look at handheld gadgets, inductive charging is a proven technology – the fundamental science says that it will work.”
Redmer van der Meer, Nissan’s European electric vehicle product manager, said: “We don’t want to make a shock in the market, an egg-shaped car or something. We want to make a transition. You could do mad things but we really don’t want to.”
Instead, and forgetting our own domestic automakers for a moment and as most car producers fight severe sales declines, Nissan seems to be trying to anticipate future trends. The Guardian article goes to say that Nissan is attempting to grapple with latest research that states 61% of potential electric car customers were most worried about the inconvenience of recharging.
Nissan is hoping that inductive charging will address that annoying issue of infrastructure. It hopes to scale beyond charging bays to implement charging technology as a series of plates laid into the surface of designated electric vehicle lanes on our roads and motorways, theoretically enabling motorists to charge as they drive. Additionally, Nissan’s technological solutions include developing fast-charging facilities, which they hope to place in shopping center garages and highway service stations.
“So while you’re shopping, or having a cup of tea, the battery will refill to 80% of its capacity, in about 25 minutes,” explained Larry Haddad, general manager of product strategy and planning at Nissan Europe.
Bott skeptically added, however, “It’s scientifically feasible, but it’s whether it’s scalable and feasible is another matter.” Nissan admits that it still has a lot more research to do on the practicality and the economics of these kinds of recharging solutions.
The Nissan ZEV is slated to be released in the US in 2010, and pricing is yet to be announced.