The star attraction on Nissan’s stand was the Navara pick-up Dark Sky concept, which the brand developed in the UK in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).
Equipped with Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance tech, the concept comes with an ultra-high performance PlaneWave telescope within a bespoke off-road trailer module, which, according to Nissan, can help astronomers reach inaccessible ‘dark sky’ locations from where they can observe the stars away from the night-time light pollution of urban areas.
Portable battery packs from Nissan’s EV technology provide an auxiliary power supply for the telescope trailer, which incorporates a refrigerated atmosphere, allowing the telescope to remain stable and calibrated at the optimum temperature in transit.
Additional smart features include Wi-Fi, a laptop station and UHF transmission to relay data instantaneously. Eight radar units, on each corner of the vehicle and trailer, update the driver on the vehicle’s surroundings through the NissanConnect infotainment touchscreen on the dashboard.
As part of the Renault/Nissan Alliance, Ashwani Gupta, senior vice-president for LCVs for both Nissan and Renault, said Nissan has access to Renault’s vans and Renault has access to Nissan’s pick-up trucks (both Mercedes and Renault have based their own respective pick-ups, the X-Class and Alaskan – which is not available in the UK – upon the Navara). He therefore predicted that an electric version of Nissan’s NV400 will come to market in due course based upon the Z.E. Master that Renault launched this year.
The Italian brand emphasised its commitment to sustainable transport in Hanover and although a Daily Electric Minibus was displayed, which it sees as ideal for low-speed, low energy-intensive stop-and-go assignments in city centres, plug-in power was just part of the story. Visitors could also peruse the Daily Hi-Matic Natural Power, which Iveco claims is the first LCV equipped with a 3.0-litre CNG (compressed natural gas) engine together with eight-speed automatic transmission.
Pierre Lahutte, Iveco brand president, outlined a vision where natural gas sourced from biomethane enables a transition to renewable energy and zero emissions. He claimed natural gas could deliver massive reductions in pollutants compared to diesel, including 90% for NO2, 99% for particulate matter, and up to 95% CO2 well-to-wheel with biomethane.