Nissan, the Japanese auto giant, is continuing its thrust into the electric car market with its unveiling, during the latest Geneva Auto Show, of its newest electric concept, the ESFlow. This though is a step beyond the all purpose Nissan Leaf, as this is an electric sports car that has a rear wheel drive and a more stylish and aerodynamic exterior. The design was conceptualized six years ago when the company decided on a direction to actively pursue fuel efficient technologies. It has been pegged at somewhere between U.S. $34,000 to U.S. $40,000, if ever it goes into production.
The set up of the ESFLow is its two electric motors that are powered by laminated lithium ion batteries - each motor is connected with its own rear wheel. This allows the ESFlow to accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in about five seconds and also extends the range of the vehicle to an astounding one hundred and fifty miles in just one full charge.
Even the design is quite avante-garde, with the color inspiration from the reflective quality of glaciers with blue tint. The hood is stretched to provide a longer and sleeker profile together with steep wrap around windscreen providing a better flowing angle for the ESFlow. One standard ingredient of the Nissan electric car fleet is a common electric transmission, as it shares the very same one with the 2011 Nissan Leaf - it also has the same twenty four kilowatt hour battery pack.
The interior of the ESFlow has an open clean steel framed cabin with thick upholstery and motorized seats. The upholstery is three toned, combining dark hues with gold leather highlights with carbon fiber. The color hues that are ever present include dark blue leather and suede, which is done, not just on the seats, but to the dashboard with silver carbon trim. There are also four LCD displays that provide multifunctional information on the ESFLow’s performance.
Each of the motors is able to provide 107 horsepower or 80 kW and with it, independent control of the left and right wheels. This provides optimized torque for vehicle stability and control with efficient power regeneration. The lithium ion batteries are placed at the center of the ESFLow, just near the front of the rear axle.
Another innovative feature is the use of aluminum as the main material for its chassis although it also utilizes carbon fiber and other lightweight materials for its components, allowing for an overall lightweight carriage that is ably supported by its power pack and electric motors set up. The other feature is that instead of the seat moving to adjust to the driver and the motorized controls adjust to the driver allowing for flexible adjustment of driving position in the Nissan ESFlow.
Even with all of its virtues, Nissan has not confirmed if the ESFlow concept would ever go into production or even become commercially available. In any case, this is truly one design concept that makes Nissan stand out in the electric vehicle market.