Nissan engineers develop 48kWh Leaf prototype

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In a demonstration of their passion for innovation, Nissan engineers have created a prototype Nissan Leaf with a 48kWh battery – in their spare time.

Following the manufacturer’s principles of ongoing research and development of electric vehicles, the 48kWh prototype carries a battery twice the size of the original Nissan Leaf production model, with a 75% increase in driving range in everyday conditions.

It was created by a group of engineers at Nissan’s Technical Centre in Barcelona (NTCE-S), whose passion and commitment to their work has given rise to the Nissan Innovation team. The team of volunteers take on a range of exciting endeavours, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with electric vehicle technology.

The prototype, codenamed Cocoon in reference to the American sci-fi film of the same name, was built to compete in the Spanish motorsport event ECOseries – a new initiative which rewards “efficiency and fuel economy rather than outright speed.”

Dario Fernandez, senior engineer at NTCE-S, said, “It has been a great privilege to work on this project and to see our finished prototype race in the ECOseries. We all have a real passion for what we do and being able to work on prototype projects gives us the creative freedom to be as innovative and forward-thinking as we possibly can.

“Battery range improvement is important to the ongoing adoption of electric vehicles, so this was a great opportunity to utilise our knowledge of zero-emissions technology to look at how battery range could potentially be extended in this particular application.”

Gareth Dunsmore, director of electric vehicles at Nissan Europe, said, “As a pioneer of the electric vehicle market, Nissan has consistently innovated and advanced its technology to remain at the forefront of the zero emission sector. While there are no plans to put this prototype into production, it serves as a useful exercise in thinking outside the box, something our engineers and designers do on a daily basis. The Nissan Leaf 48kWh showcases the passion our employees have for their work.”

These extra-curricular projects feed in to Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision and allow employees to draw on their expertise, skills and experience to experiment with technology, design and engineering. The Intelligent Mobility framework informs all of Nissan’s future products and technologies, with the aim of developing a smart, connected, sustainable zero emission transport network.

July 22, 2016

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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