Nissan is currently developing a new type of fuel cell engine, which is powered by electricity generated from electrochemically reacting bioethanol and air.
The brand claims that the method of propulsion, which has until now been unexplored by mainstream car manufacturers, allows the generation of electricity with high efficiency. It's capable of powering a car to a similar range to conventionally-fuelled offerings: Nissan quotes more than 600km (373 miles).
Nissan says that when the engine reaches production, it will behave no differently to regular electric vehicles, despite its pioneering nature. This is in terms of noise, acceleration and power delivery. As with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Nissan’s bioethanol system emits only water.
The engine uses a reformer to source hydrogen from bioethanol fuel, which powers the car through the solid oxide fuel cell. The bioethanol fuel will be sourced from sugarcane; an abundant crop in Asia, North and South America, which means the process of fuel production will produce very little CO2.