Nissan e-NV200 Plug-In Fuel Cell Van Aims To Take Over Europe’s Taxi Market

3 months ago by Mark Kane 20

Nissan e-NV200 Plug-In Fuel Cell Van by Symbio

Symbio FCell’s Renault Kangoo ZE-H2

Symbio has unveiled a Nissan e-NV200 retrofitted with hydrogen fuel cell range-extender at FC Expo 2017 in Tokyo. It’s Symbio’s first project with a Nissan EV, after earlier converting vehicles like the Renault Kangoo Z.E. In the Nissan, 3.8 kg of hydrogen stored at 700 bar and a 15 kW fuel cell stack will enable the vehicles to drive more than 500 km (310 miles) before needing to refuel. The configuration, combined with connectivity, means the fuel cell e-NE200 is well suited for taxi duty, Symbio says.

Green Car Congress reports that sales of the customized e-NV200 will start in September 2018. Besides 24-kWh battery packs, there will also be 36-kWh options available.

Our question is whether these will be Symbio’s packs or if the company has unwittingly revealed an upcoming change from 24 to 36 kWh in Nissan’s all-electric e-NV200 by Nissan.

“As air quality remains a cause for concern, Symbio has stepped up its own commitment to zero emissions, exploring a new market segment – duty vehicles – to contribute towards a more sustainable environment and a mobility solutions answering to the current market needs. Indeed, taxis have been identified as a major source of air pollution in city centres, and more regulations are applied to limit emissions in urban areas. For a dominant player as Symbio, it was important to tackle this issue.

It is in this context and along with its long-standing partners Michelin and ENGIE, Symbio has the great pleasure to invite Japanese manufacturers and the automotive community to launch the new hybrid electric-hydrogen vehicle at the FC Expo…”

“Based on Japanese OEM platform, the converted e-NV200 is a 700-bar hybrid plug-in–hydrogen vehicle with more than 500 km of range. This vehicle can be refuelled in minutes and is fully connected. This is apparently the best options for taxis to drive daily without any range restrictions and/or polluting air in urban areas.

More information will be given about the mutual French-Japanese collaboration, with Symbio as an expert in fuel cell kit integration and its ambition to grow further as a sustainable business.

After the launch, all guests will be invited to discover the vehicle on Booth E63-42 at East Hall 7, Tokyo Big Sight, where Symbio’s will be exhibiting during this 3 days event. There will be also the opportunity to hear more about Symbio’s suppliers (tanks, high pressure system, power electronics…).”

Source: Symbio via Green Car Congress

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20 responses to "Nissan e-NV200 Plug-In Fuel Cell Van Aims To Take Over Europe’s Taxi Market"

  1. Eco says:

    This is great, more manufacturers need to offer PHEV’s with fuel cells instead of ICE range extenders. If 15 kW (20 hp) is enough power to sustain the average charge for a van, a small car would require even less. This is the only PHEV I’d consider buying (I’m done with ICE’s).

    1. DJ says:

      I have been saying this myself for awhile now. There are a lot of use cases for it.

      Prepare to be flamed though by the “fool cell” crowd.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      15 kW with big battery buffer is enough for city driving, i.e. for taxis and commercial vans in congested cities with air quality issues.
      But it is not enough for sustained speed on highway. 25 kW BMW i3 Rex barely keeps up at highway speed, and this is heavier and bigger van.

      1. toni says:

        The RE of the i3 does not charge the battery. And because of that when you use the RE you use only the RE and you dont have the electric motor to provide the needed extra power for acceperation and etc.

    3. przemo_li says:

      That’s… idiotic.

      It would slash PHEV sales by 99%… Small fuel stack production capacity, little and sporadic refueling infrastructure, immense capex required to bootstrap that industry even to current EV stage.

      PHFCEV would be NO improvement over PHEV. Simply because only gains to human health or environment, would be ought weighted by all those ICE cars that would NOT be converted.

      Idiotic.

      Let’s give this demo cheers for what it is (R&D in sustainable transportation, and first steps in possible commercialization). But let’s not claim that it’s suddenly superior to other sustainable(-ish) initiatives.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        I don’t think it’s really idiotic. In fact it’s less idiotic then regular HFCV since it would ikely be the easiest way to establish the technology in the marketplace. The larger plug-in battery would more easily be able to output more power than a smaller, hybrid battery, and the higher capacity would allow the fuel cell power to be based on an average requirement over a longer period, reducing the required power, lowering cost and size.

        What would happen to gas stations if everybody drove EREVs? Given the combination of all-electric miles and efficient gasoline miles it would significantly reduce gasoline consumption and thus significantly reducing the number of gas stations. And, because daily driving would be electric, a large proportion of the the remaining gas stations would be located at locations more suited to longer-distance travel.

        The same principle holds, but in reverse for the build-out of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Standard HFCVs would require more regular refueling, which would mean that you’d require convenient, high-density refueling instructure. But if the HFCVs are ERPFCVs you wouldn’t need much refueling infratructure at all.

        So, given that PHFCV would have cost benefits over HFCV in the fuel cell stack cost and size, and in the refueling infrastructure cost and density requirements, it would make it much easier to establish the technology.

  2. William says:

    36 kWh Nissan EV e-NV200 Van with 15 kW FC range extender, I wouldn’t hesitate to take it home yesterday! Now, can it be had in the States? And, can I make my own Hydrogen from my extra solar, instead of selling my surplus back to the grid, once my power wall is topped up?

  3. Four Electrics says:

    When can I buy one of these home hydrogen fueling stations?

    http://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/23/simplefuel-home-h2-fueling-system-refuel-h-prize/

    1. Nick says:

      That thing looks crazy!

      Hopefully they have the safety nut cracked with that guy. Don’t envy the neighbors.

    2. przemo_li says:

      Never.

      Refueling stations to be safe, require maintenance and protocols simply impossible for wide public.

      We may see distributed small scale refueling stations by companies, but that’s best what would happen.

      On top of that there is ZERO, chances that higher maintenance, higher cost of bill of material, smaller scale hardware like that would be cheaper then fast chargers.

      So why was it developed?
      Grant moneys and very good chance of reusing all that tech for commercial refueling stations.

  4. Djoni says:

    How much does it cost?
    And will they be available, van and H² station?
    What will be the cost of H²?
    I’ll go anytime with 36 kWh usable thought.
    For the rest, I’am pretty sure I can’t afford one.

  5. Grey90D says:

    A smallish fuel cell combined with a medium sized battery looks like a killer app.

    I think 5-10 Kw is enough from the fuel cell. Make it small enough to be so it can be easily removed from the car and it can act as a backup generator at home for day to day and then when going on a road trip drop it into the car.

    Could even be useful for Teslas for trips to remote places with no access to overnight charging etc.

  6. Nick says:

    Direct gasoline SOFC sounds like the killer app for fuel cells.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      Why would you do that? the efficiency gains wouldn’t be all that much over a diesel generator. Fuel cells aren’t magic they are just a bit more efficient. It would take a whole heap of work to make synthetic petrol. Maybe methanol would be a good option but petrol is yesterday’s fuel.

  7. SparkEV says:

    I wonder how much this thing weighs. Mirai weighs over 4000 lb, and that’s without a large battery. Given that Bolt weighs 3500 lb (900 lb battery) for 240 miles, 300 miles range BEV from GM could weigh less than this.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Here it says 300 kg for 20 kW version:
      http://postandparcel.info/64199/news/environment-news-2/la-poste-to-test-extended-range-hydrogen-electric-vehicle/
      http://corporate.renault-trucks.com/en/press-releases/2015-02-23-the-french-poste-office-and-renault-trucks-jointly-test-a-hydrogen-powered-truck-running-on-a-fuel-cell.html

      Probably you can add some 50 kWh battery pack instead of this at similar weight. But this one can be refueled if needed in 5 minutes and continue to work in all weather conditions as required for commercial application, below zero, generating extra thermal energy, 24 hours per day if needed.

      Mirai curb weight is not good for comparison here as it is quite different car and doesn’t show current stage of technology development. It was designed years ago around 2011-2012. This technology changes too fast.

  8. toni says:

    This, and the Note e-Power are actually way better ways to do a PHEV and a hybrid compared to the mainstream versions. Nissn is having better ideas than most car makers and deserves a lot of praise for being brave and using them in real cars

  9. Bill Howland says:

    Seems a shame Nissan doesn’t put this much effort into putting a decent battery (size nor longevity) into their alternative fueled products.

  10. randomhuman says:

    Laughable. Fuel Cell cars are way to expensive and are not very energy efficient. It’s a step back for the eNV200. They should put a decent battery in it like 50 to 60kWh and they should also offer a smaller version with like 40kWh for a lower price to save some money if you don’t need so much range. I mean the car is big enough to fit something like this in there.

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