Nissan Imagines The Connected Car Of The Future


Nissan used the Geneva auto show this week to unveil its concept for what electric cars of the future might look like. Not in terms of styling, mind you, but in terms of what the synergy between electric cars, the internet, and renewable energy could accomplish. Nissan calls its vision “The Fuel Station Of The Future.”

Nissan connected car

Working in partnership with British design firm Foster + Partners, it imagines electric cars that can recharge themselves wirelessly both at home and elsewhere. Nissan is placing emphasis on wireless charging technology. Its chargers area only capable of 3 kW of power at present. It wants to boost that to 7 kW or more. By comparison, a Tesla home charger operates at around 10 kW.

One thing that autonomous driving technology can do is precisely align a car with a wireless charging hub. Proper alignment is critical to maximizing speed of charging. Even a variation of a few inches can cut efficiency dramatically. Nissan expects that for charging away from home, self driving cars could undock themselves when charging is complete and move themselves to an available parking space. Another autonomous car could then be summoned to use the wireless charging hub.

Nissan connected car

But Nissan’s vision is broader than that. It envisions electric cars serving as sort of a Tesla PowerWall on wheels. Using the wireless hub, the battery could be used to power a home, store electrical energy from residential solar panels and wind turbines, and help to supply power to the grid in an emergency. Vehicle to grid (V2G) systems are still in their infancy. According to Gizmag, Nissan thinks connecting cars to the grid with the help of advanced algorithms will become commonplace in the future. Cars will sometimes draw power from the home or local grid and sometimes give it back.

David Nelson, co-head of design at Foster + Partners, says a connected grid can be sustainable, innovative, and do more than simply refuel cars. “Integrating zero emission technologies into the built environment is vital in creating smarter, more sustainable cities,” says Nelson. “That commitment must extend far beyond the car – it must sit at the heart of everything we do.”

Such an interconnected system is far off. But Nissan is determined to lead the way forward in collaboration with Foster + Partners and other visionary firms.

Photo Credits: Nissan, Foster + Partners

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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • bioburner

    Does this system run on their 2G wireless network?

  • No question that the car of the future is going to run on water. The top of the car will be covered with cheap iron rust that will split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen will be the feed to the anode PEMFC, while the oxygen will be the fuel of the cathode in the car. This is water based economy.

  • We know that the process of photo-synthesis by planet leaves produces the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat from carbon dioxide. Unfortunately acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide slow or even kill the process of photosynthesis.
    Acidic gases in air can come not only from combustion of fossil fuel ( gasoline and diesel) but also from people. There are 7 billion people on earth who consume garlic and onions and so their digestion system produce green house gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide ( smell of rotten eggs). Basically our future is the same what happen to the dinosaurs few 100 millions years ago..So let us not waste tax payer money on carbon dioxide removal but sulphur.