The quartet of Nissan concept cars, shown last month as part of the unveiling of the “Nissan Ambition 2030” plan to electrify the automaker’s lineup, are leaving internal combustion engines behind to showcase a future of clean mobility and electric. But this particular new prototype also leaves planet Earth behind to make the lunar surface its own.
Nissan, in association with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA, presented a prototype of lunar explorer, or Rover, as the result of a joint research project.
JAXA’s Space Exploration Innovation Center Director Ikkoh Funaki explained that “JAXA aims to apply research results to future space exploration. We collaborate with companies, universities and research institutes in viable projects with potential for commercialization and innovation. By conducting research with Nissan, which has expertise in electrified technologies, we hope to apply our findings to the development of higher-performance lunar vehicles. ‘
For its part, Nissan sees this lunar rover as a test laboratory for the study of new technologies for adapting vehicles to various types of terrain, which is very important on surfaces similar to that of the moon, where there is no Asphalt roads so vehicles must be able to navigate dusty, rocky and undulating terrain and at the same time they must be able to be efficient in the use of available energy, since presumably on the moon there is no place to charge the battery.
The powertrain for Nissan’s moon rover is based on technologies used in the manufacturer’s current production electric vehicles. The Rover uses the Nissan Leaf’s electric motor control technology to achieve maximum efficiency in the use of available energy, as well as the all-wheel drive system e-4ORCE that will debut on the ground when the new electric crossover Nissan Ariya begins to be distributed. According to the manufacturer e-4ORCE “increases the performance of the lunar exploration vehicle in difficult terrain”.
Toshiyuki Nakajima, general manager of the advanced vehicle engineering department in charge of developing e-4ORCE, said that “vehicle uses and driving situations are very varied. Our goal is to achieve maximum driving performance through our research and development, and we believe that the knowledge gained from this joint research with JAXA will lead to innovations in our vehicles that will benefit our customers. ”
In other words, the technologies developed by Nissan to achieve the best possible moon rover will eventually benefit the drivers of the manufacturer’s vehicles in the future. planet Earth.