Envisioned as “the one and only Zero Emission SUV,” TeRRA builds on Nissan’s success with urban-relevant SUVs and crossovers like Murano and Qashqai and asserts that its zero-emission expertise extends all the way to fuel cells. Designed as a functional and flexible choice for tomorrow’s youthful, “always on” consumers, TeRRA answers their aspiration for eco-friendliness along with a secure driving feel under any road conditions.
Although TeRRA is presented as a design concept, not a technical exhibit, its proposed 4×4 fuel cell electric powertrain is far from imaginary.
Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts. As no drive shafts are required to power the rear wheels, there is no hump in the cabin floor or on the underbody. This allows for the flat cabin deck and the underside bodypan.
Under the hood is ample space for Nissan’s proprietary hydrogen fuel cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading power density of 2.5kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.
TeRRA is purely a concept car, but it signals that Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.