Nissan, with its continued thrust towards innovation and design concepts, has provided a new paradigm in urban transportation. One of the most avante garde designs the company has undertaken is the Nissan Nuvu. Its main thrust is to provide comfortable travel and efficient transportation in the urban setting. The design has integrated the vision of a moving urban oasis, where the NuVu would be able to generate its own energy through solar panels embedded in its roofing. It has a by-wire steering, comfortable two plus one seating, and fast charging system that drives its rear mounted electric motor that can provide speeds up to 120 km/h to travel up to 125 kms. While much of the vehicle’s specifications are still under wraps, the design is expected to take the concept of urban transportation to the next level.
Nuvu, according to its designers, is “a realistic interpretation of the two most important aspects of forerunners – the Friendly Innovation in the Pivo 2 and the Sports Dynamics central to the Mixim.” The main inspiration though is its full utilization of space and the ability to provide flexibility to the urban transportation platform in the increasing cramped urban setting in the next decade.
The Nuvu Concept measures just 1.5 meters in height and three meters in length, allowing for easy maneuverability as well as a spacious cabin. The regular two C seats are standard and there is a foldable ‘jump seat’ that slips into the dashboard assembly. This jump seat is made from netting that lowers overall weight and at the same time allows for greater storage when not needed. Its overall cabin design considers the interior ‘greenhouse’ effect, with the energy tree system embedded into the roof of the vehicle. This ‘energy tree’ rises from the luggage compartment flooring up the roof behind the driver’s seat and extends to dozens of solar panel ‘leaves’ under the glass roof. The effect would be providing shade for the occupants of the vehicle as well as extra converted energy to assist the electric motor in short bursts. Nissan calculates that this system would help provide energy equivalent to one full overnight electricity charge each specific month.
Another aspect of the progressive nature of the design of the Nissan Nuvu is the use of organic and recycled materials in the cabin of the electric vehicle. Most of the common areas are molded plastics and synthetic materials, such as a floor made from pressed wood fiber with rubber inserts from recycled tires. The windscreen and the roof were merged into one panel that runs the entire length of the car to allow maximum use of natural sunlight into the car.
The driving circle is 3.7 meters with a driving function using ‘by-wire’technology controlled by an aircraft steering yoke needing to turn from lock to lock delivering agility and maneuverability in narrow city roads. There are two pedals, accelerator and brake, and it has a digital instrument panel showing dials for speed, distance travelled, and battery range ability. Another digital innovation is the use of two screens on the dashboard showing the rear view of the car in lieu of mirrors. This makes the EV subcompact truly aerodynamically efficient. There are also the Around View Camera providing a full bird’s eye view providing assistance in maneuvering and parking in narrow parking spaces.
Other efficiency innovations include the use of low-energy light emitting diodes or LED lights in the front and the rear of the car. It takes zero-local emission through the incorporation of a heating and ventilation system that assists in cleaning ambient city air which passes through its system.
Clearly these innovations make the NuVu amongst the most awaited electric vehicles for the urban setting. The final specs as to power and torque have not been reached, but Nissan has reassured the general public that the NuVu can travel up to 125 kilometers in a single full charge. To achieve this, the battery is the most modern laminated lithium ion type battery that is able to boost the power capacity by a factor of one and a half while cutting the physical size of the unit. A quick charge would take just twenty minutes, while a full charge would take four hours using a 220 volt socket. The full battery unit is mounted under the seats to provide a low center of gravity.
With these features, what would beat a Nissan NuVu in the city’s inner streets?