Sunday, September 4, 2011

Volkswagen's zero-gas emission prototype: NILS

Looking towards a zero-emissions future, Volkswagen will use the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show to debut its new NILS concept car. Although the car will bow as a concept, VW indicated the car could eventually make production.

Stretching just 3.04 meters in length, the NILS is 50cm shorter than VW’s diminutive up! model. Although that means the NILS isn’t exactly well suited for the autobahn, its small footprint is ideal for city commuting.

The NILS won’t be used for carpooling, though, as it only offers seating for one. The EV features a small storage compartment behind the cabin, but that should be plenty considering the car’s limited 40-mile range.

The NILS is powered by a rear-mounted electric motor developing a peak of 33 horsepower and 95 lbs-ft of torque. Although that doesn’t sound like a lot, the MILS tips the scales at just 1,014 pounds, meaning it can still scoot from 0-62 in less than 11 seconds. The NILS’ top end is limited to 80mph.

Although safety can be a concern in a car as small as the NILS, VW has gone to great lengths to ensure driver safety. The NILS is fitted with a radar system that can scan up to 200 meter in front of the car and has the capability to bring the vehicle to a complete stop in the event of an impending accident.

“NILS anticipates the future,” said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management and Head of Development for the Volkswagen Brand. “The goal of the NILS project is to research a technically concrete and economically feasible vehicle concept for micromobility which restructures individual transportation to make it more efficient and environmentally compatible based on electric drive technology.”

VW appears to be serious about producing a highly efficient commuter car, so something along the lines of the NILS could be on the world’s roads by the end of the decade.

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