The Nido EV is a 'laboratory' designed both to explore the concept of a small electric car for urban use and to develop a modular frame platform suitable for different body versions and different mechanical layouts.

At MobilityTech, which opens today on the Piazza Duomo in Milan, Pininfarina will showcase its Nido EV, the first running prototype of the "Nido Development Programme", the ambitious project for an electric car conceived, designed and built entirely by the Pininfarina Design and Engineering Centre of Cambiano (Turin).

The Nido EV prototype bears utilises the skills and experience that Pininfarina has built up in the development of electric vehicles, paying particular attention to the Segment A city cars that will populate the streets of the future to make our towns more pleasant to live in.

The exterior design of the Nido EV takes up and updates the lines and volumes that won the Nido of 2004 the award for the Most Beautiful Car in the World in the Prototypes and concept cars category, the Compasso d’Oro 2008 and a place in the temple of modern art, the MoMA of New York. On the other hand, the interiors of this first Nido EV project are focused on functionality, with no attempt at a stylistic approach.

The Nido EV is a 'laboratory' designed both to explore the concept of a small electric car for urban use and to develop a modular frame platform suitable for different body versions and different mechanical layouts. The body structure of this first prototype is a tubular steel frame, while the final version will have an aluminium space frame. The structure was designed to adapt to four different, completely electric or hybrid vehicles: 2-seater, 2+1, pickup and light van.

The Nido EV, a small city car (slightly larger than a Smart), has 2 seats and a permanent magneto rear engine. The “Nido Development Programme” also envisages the possibility of realising further versions with a serial hybrid powertrain: an endothermic engine is positioned at the vehicle front and it works as an electric power generator, allowing to further extend the vehicle range (Range Extender). The position of the engine, combined with a high modularity of the chassis, makes it possible to improve roominess, adding rear seats and increasing luggage compartment volume, though preserving an optimum weight distribution.

The Nido EV prototype is powered by a Zebra Z5 Ni-NaCl battery, which guarantees very high levels of safety and reliability. When fully charged, it allows an autonomy range of 140 km and a top speed of 120 km/h (electronically limited), and accelerates 0-60 km/h in 6.7 seconds. The development versions foresee the use of Lithium-ion batteries, a technology that retains the safety and reliability features of the Ni-NaCI, thus allowing to improve the power output and therefore the vehicle performance. Moreover, the prototype is equipped with “green” tyres developed by Pirelli paying particular attention to safety, environmental sustainability and money saving.

The car foresees to be equipped with a climate device specifically used on electric cars, featuring an electronic control interfacing with the main vehicle electronics in order to enhance the comfort and to optimize the energetic consumptions. The programme will also include the research for light weight solutions and components with high mechanical/electric performances, including technologies for high energy recovery during braking.

Pininfarina aims to become the benchmark in Italy, and further afield, for sustainable mobility, just as it has been a global benchmark for style for the last 80 years, always investing in research and development programmes to tackle problems as they emerge in the motor industry rapidly and methodically.

During the energy crisis of the 1970s, for example, the industry concentrated on aerodynamics and alternative sources of energy to reduce petrol consumption. Pininfarina replied by developing the CNR Energetica 1 prototype, with ideal aerodynamic bodywork. Those years also produced the Ecos, the first electric car developed by Pininfarina, underlining that it was on the cutting edge in an area that the motor industry has starting reconsidering just recently. In the 1980s, Pininfarina research into the application of light materials resulted in the Audi Quartz and Lancia Hit prototypes, which explored the use of new and lighter metallic and compound materials. The 1990s brought greater understanding of environmental problems, more research in the field of recyclable materials and ergonomics, and a more efficient concept of how to “package” the vehicle. Pininfarina offered new solutions with the Ethos macro-project, a family of 3 cars with an aluminium chassis, recyclable resin bodywork and an innovative combustion engine with reduced emissions, building up to the Ethos 3 EV in 1995, another zero emission car. More recently, Pininfarina has focused its research on hybrid vehicles, with the Eta Beta and Metrocubo projects, two small cars with modular passenger compartments that also tackle the problems of driving in town and on medium hauls. Then, with the Nido in 2004, Pininfarina returned to the issue of safety, which it had touched on with the Sigma, Alfa Romeo P33 and Sigma Grand Prix prototypes, and in 2008 it proposed the Sintesi, a futuristic concept car powered by 4 fuel cells (one per wheel-motor).

Today, with the new global crisis and the need to curb emissions and consumption, the opportunities offered by zero emission urban mobility have grown significantly: the world is increasingly aware of the environment, and Pininfarina was the first industrial Company in Italy, and one of the first in Europe, to propose a project for a 100% electric car, the BlueCar, developed jointly with the Bolloré Company. Today, when all the large carmakers view the electric car as an opportunity, Pininfarina takes another step forward, promoting a new philosophy that incorporates the choice of individual and collective electric transport in the context of a new lifestyle that everyone should adopt in order to increase energy saving, and protect the planet. This is why sustainable mobility has become one of the pillars underpinning the Group’s activities. And it is also why the new Nido EV project is now being launched, in parallel with the BlueCar.


Roominess 2-seater City Car
Electrical drive Rear
Dimensions (Length/Width/Height) 2905/1683/1507 mm
0-60 km/h acceleration 6.7 sec
Top speed (limited electronically) 120 km/h
Autonomy Range (fully charged) 140 Km
Curb Weight (ready to drive) ~900 kg


Engine Synchronous with permanent magnetos
     Maximum power output 30 kW
     Maximum torque to wheels 125 Nm
Drive battery ZEBRA Z5 (Ni-NaCl)
     Rated voltage 278 V
     Rated capacity 21.2 kWh
     Charge time 8 hours
     Weight 182 kg


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