Anyone who's driven the Nissan Leaf knows that it won't set any land speed records. Still, ask Nissan Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga, and the battery-electric vehicle will be miles ahead of any hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for the foreseeable future in Nissan's advanced-powertrain plans. Figuratively, of course.
Shiga, speaking in Singapore, elaborated on Nissan's interest in developing a production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, and, to put it bluntly, he said the company didn't have much interest, the Japan Times reports. Sure, Nissan reached an agreement with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and Ford early last year to work together to speed up fuel-cell-vehicle powertrain development. Like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, the automakers appear to be following the axiom that hydrogen fuel-cell technology is the best-of-all-worlds option for advanced powertrain because of the combination of zero emissions and conventional-vehicle-like full-tank range. Still, the prohibitively high cost of building hydrogen refueling stations will prevent any substantial adoption anytime soon, Shiga says, hence Nissan's focus on battery-electric vehicles.
Nissan sells the all-electric Leaf in about 40 countries, and the model is the best-selling battery-electric vehicle in the world. In the US, Nissan sold 24,411 Leaf vehicles through October, up 35 percent from a year earlier.