Lengthy earlier than Tesla or the Leaf, this Nissan electrical automobile claimed a 155-mile vary

Lengthy earlier than Tesla or the Leaf, this Nissan electrical automobile claimed a 155-mile vary


Whereas we extensively consider the Basic Motors EV1—or its previous Impression idea automobile—as beginning the period of the electrical automobile. However there have been others in that period, that adopted an analogous method and might need doubtlessly come to market earlier. Considered one of them got here from Nissan.

As lately mentioned by Japanese Nostalgic Automotive (by way of Hemmings), the Nissan FEV idea unveiled by the automaker on the 1991 Tokyo Motor Present had packaging and specs just like EVs that might attain manufacturing within the years and a long time to comply with.

Just like the EV1, the FEV (brief for Future Electrical Automobile) was a compact two-door designed with an aero-savvy teardrop form now not like the Honda Perception, Volkswagen XL1, and sure, the EV1. Its easy silhouette, with headlights just like these of the up to date Nissan 300ZX sports activities automobile, gave the FEV claimed 0.19 coefficient of drag. Low rolling resistance tires have been specifically made for the idea to additional enhance effectivity, whereas aluminum-intensive building helped scale back weight.

1991 Nissan FEV electrical automobile idea

Energy was supplied by a nickel-cadmium battery pack that afforded 155 miles of vary, Nissan claimed on the time. A “high-induction” electrical motor may propel the FEV from 0-62 mph in a sedate 20 seconds, and on to a claimed high pace of 81 mph.

The FEV additionally featured regenerative braking and what Nissan referred to as Tremendous Fast Cost (SQC), which the automaker claimed may present a 40% cost in simply 6 minutes utilizing a 200-volt supply. A full recharge on the usual Japanese family 100-volt circuit took eight hours, Nissan mentioned on the time.

Along with quick charging, Nissan predicted a few different options that ultimately made it into manufacturing autos. The FEV idea had a warmth pump to extra effectively regulate cabin temperatures, in addition to a photo voltaic roof to supply supplementary energy for the audio system and local weather controls.

1991 Nissan FEV electric car concept

1991 Nissan FEV electrical automobile idea

Whereas it did win a 1992 Auto & Design Cowl Award for its electrical powertrain, the FEV by no means went into manufacturing. Though Nissan confirmed work on a modular propulsion set to energy the FEV, we’re unsure if there ever have been drivable variations of the FEV that truly backed up the idea’s claims, nevertheless—which would be the main distinction versus the EV1.

GM put the EV1 into manufacturing as a response to California’s then-new zero-emission automobile mandate. Whereas different automakers launched EVs based mostly on present fashions, the EV1 was noteworthy as a clean-sheet design. Granted, GM did have aero designs prefer it even earlier than the Impression and EV1—just like the hybrid Pontiac Pursuit idea.

GM ultimately misplaced the lead, nevertheless. It constructed simply 1,117 EV1s, which have been leased to prospects between 1998 and 2003 earlier than this system was terminated. The automaker would successfully begin from scratch to develop the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Bolt EV.

1991 Nissan FEV electric car concept

1991 Nissan FEV electrical automobile idea

In the meantime, Toyota was placing extra effort into growing its first-generation hybrid system, which debuted within the authentic Japanese-market Prius in 1997. We have requested a number of completely different instances over time whether or not Toyota’s success in hybrid innovation blinded it to the potential of EVs.

Nissan did ultimately revisit all-electric vehicles, after all. In loads of methods you may be capable of see how the FEV idea previewed the inside of the 2011 Nissan Leaf, even when it was 20 years earlier. And with out the likes of Carlos Ghosn who championed the Leaf—and Elon Musk, after all—we in all probability would not be seeing electrical in fairly the identical method as the way forward for the car.


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September 2022